The National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) and the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF) have welcomed the announcement by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) that there will be no action taken to further restrict motorised access to green roads. This announcement came as the Government yesterday published its final proposals relating to its 2022 consultation on a Landscapes Review. The consultation asked “Should we give National Parks Authorities and the Broads Authority and local highway authorities additional powers to restrict recreational motor vehicle use on unsealed routes?”
However, after a strong response to the consultation from the NMC/TRF in partnership with the Land Access and Recreational Association (LARA), which was supported by large numbers of green lane users, plus direct representation to the Government, no further action will be taken to restrict motorised access to unsealed routes at this time. DEFRA concluded: The consultation shows many people feel strongly about protecting green lanes, but it did not identify clear support for removing vehicular rights. Therefore, we will not proceed with this proposal. We believe that the current Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) process is legally robust enough to protect green lanes with carefully targeted local action to protect sensitive areas, while allowing vehicle users to responsibly enjoy the countryside.
NMC members fully support the Government’s vision to develop a coherent national network of national parks, trails and landscapes that all sections of society can access and enjoy; including access to the UK’s 6,000 miles of Green Roads by the public to enjoy through responsible and reasonable means of travel, including motorcycling.
Indeed, the NMC feels that our system of national landscapes and Green Lanes should be a positive force for the nation’s enjoyment, health and well-being, whilst supporting local communities and economies. Today’s welcome announcement opens opportunities for further dialogue with DEFRA and other authorities on creating a sustainable future for motorcycling on green roads. We welcome continued Government support for intelligent regulation of motorcycle access to conserve green roads.
Graeme Collins, CEO of the TRF said: “We share the government’s vision for greater public access to the countryside and protecting the natural landscape and look forward to working closely in partnership with Government and the National Park Authorities.There is much that can be done to secure a long-term inclusive solution that protects motorcycling in the countryside and the Green Road Network, though today’s announcement is very welcome indeed. This clearly shows how individuals can make a difference by responding to consultations and I would like to thank all those who responded to the Landscapes Review Consultation last year.”
Photograph courtesy of TRF.