NMC, LARA make formal agreement over motorised green roads access

A new memorandum of understanding has been agreed between the NMC and LARA over motorised access to green roads, and other minor roads.

DesertX-Visordown-review
DesertX-Visordown-review

The National Motorcyclists Council has formalised its partnership with the Land Access and Recreation Association thanks to the agreement of a new memorandum of understanding between the two groups. 

The National Motorcyclists Council (NMC) and Land Access and Recreation Association (LARA) will formally join together to strengthen the lobby surrounding green roads.

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The signing of the new memorandum of understanding between the NMC and LARA comes after the two partnered last year on the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs’ (DEFRA) ‘Landscapes Review’ consultation. On that occasion, the two were able to encourage the government to work with motorised users of green roads - including motorcycle riders, of course - on issues relating to countryside access.

The ultimate aim of the new memorandum is to ensure the continuation and preservation of motorised access to minor roads, be they green or otherwise, by highlighting not only the practical necessity for such use, but also the physical and mental health benefits that come with such use.

NMC Executive Director Craig Carey-Clinch said: “The success of the Landscapes Review campaign last year underlined what can be achieved if we use our ‘constituency’ to best effect by combing forces on shared issues. The public highways and rights of way network is a significant national asset for the functional, recreational and leisure use of motor vehicles and that unsealed roads in particular are under continuing threat of misuse, closure and other restrictions on their use. 

“These threats are starting to spill over to sealed roads, so problems traditionally seen as being about rights of way and other unsealed routes are becoming an issue of concern for all road riding motorcyclists."

 

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LARA’s Dave Waterman said: “LARA was established to enable people with an interest in maintaining access to the countryside by motor vehicles to speak to government with a unified voice. Recreational motorists are in the unique position of facing the threat of wholesale loss of longstanding access rights to the public roads network as a knee-jerk reaction to the unacceptable behaviour of a small minority. 

“Whereas the evidence is that, with constructive management measures, a reasonable level of responsible motor vehicle use benefits all those who seek to enjoy the countryside, by whatever means, and is good for people’s welfare and for biodiversity. The best way to achieve these benefits is through inclusive partnership working."

Toad recently rode out through Derbyshire with the Trail Riders Fellowship, and found that they are trying to encourage riders who make use of green roads for leisure to use motorcycles which are perhaps slightly less intimidating to non-bikers using the same roads. As he put it, "Riding like a knobber at high speeds is only going to arm the NIMBY types and accelerate route closures and Travel Restriction Orders (TROs)." 

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