Have your say on Green Lane access – before it’s too late

The government is holding on a consultation on recreational vehicles and whether they should be restricted on unsealed, green lanes, and byways

Green lane rider on a motorcycles

THE UK government is holding a consultation on whether access to green lanes by recreational vehicles should be outlawed. The move would see two and four-wheeled privately owned recreational vehicles banned from unsealed green roads and byways.

And the legislation doesn’t stop there… Further erosion of the public’s right to travel freely comes in the form of an expansion of the rules to encompass minor tarmac and unclassified roads.

The news comes from the Landscapes Review, a government-led consultation to discuss national park access and areas of outstanding natural beauty. While the actual paper itself makes no mention of recreational vehicle access and use, the BMF has highlighted a section in the consultation that does.

It includes questions that can be answered by the public, that ask whether or not private recreational vehicles should be banned unsealed and unclassified roads. It also asks if this draconian move should be widened to include all types of minor roads – regardless of whether they are sealed, or green.

While the campaign by the government to restrict free movement has support from some, it also has its opposition from within the motorcycle industry. Two campaign groups flying the flag for two-wheelers are the National Motorcyclists Council, and the Land Access & Recreation Association. Both are calling on those who enjoy the UK’s green lane network to speak up and help save the right of access to them before it is snatched away.

BMF reports that one high-level supporter of vehicular green lane access is motorcycle adventurer and TV personality Charley Boorman. He said:

“Removing vehicular access from parts of National Parts, AONBs and other rural areas would have a very negative impact on the vitality of the countryside. Motorised recreation and tourism on green roads are not only positive economically and socially but riding green roads has a very positive impact on the health and wellbeing of those who take part in this activity.  I urge the Government to find against rural road bans and to work with organisations in a positive way to manage green and other roads so that the countryside remains open to all.”

Indeed, the government and its supporters on this matter completely ignore the positive effects that rural tourism has on the local area and the people that take part in it. The green lane riding community is huge, with many groups like the TRF campaigning hard to keep the countryside open for all. Take all those motorcycles out of the equation and the results could be catastrophic for the local economies and the people that ride there.

To make your voice heard, take part in the consultation at this link: Gov.uk

Alternatively, send your views on countryside access to this email: landscapesconsultation@defra.gov.uk

Specifically, you should state that you object to questions 13-17 of the questionnaire.

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