Peak District National Park to consult public on possibly permanent ban on motor vehicles on two popular green lanes.
The Peak District National Park Authority is set to consult the public on the possible permanent exclusion of recreational motorised vehicles and trail bikes from two popular green lanes in the area.
The Tracks In Question
The authorityy has decided to seek the public's views on proposed Traffic Regulation Orders banning recreational traffic from the Long Causeway, a rocky track that runs down over Stanage Edge above Hathersage and the Roych, which runs from above Hayfield over towards Ruship Edge near Edale and is part of the Pennine Bridleway.
The move, says the PDNPA 'follows a lengthy period of monitoring which showed harmful impacts on the natural beauty and on other users, such as walkers, cyclists and horse-riders, despite trying various intervention measures such as information campaigns, voluntary restraint and repairs'.
Majority Favoured Permanent Ban
The consultation is a follow on from one earlier this year which found that the majority of user groups - including parish councils and walking, horse-riding and environmental groups - favoured the permanent exclusion of motorised vehicles, while The Peak and Derbyshire Vehicles User Group recommended peak time exclusions and the Trail Riders Fellowship urged repairs and maintenance first, followed by alternative methods of management.
The issue of erosion, damage, noise and environmental poluution caused by recreational vehicles has become a serious issue in the Peak District over recent years, with anti-vehicle campaigners arguing that 4x4s and trail bikes cause disproportionate damage to the trails and ruin other users quiet enjoyment of the area.
It's easy to see why as well. The Roych track, for example, which forms part of the Pennine Bridleway, was extensively rebuilt a few years ago, but the combination of damage from vehicle use and natural erosion has seriously damaged large portions of the track and in some areas, 4x4 drivers have caused even more destruction by simply detouring off the course of the lane and creating new areas of erosion.
Legally motorised vehicles have a right to use tracks which are classified as roads historically, but opponents would argue, with some justification, that the green lanes in question were never intended to be used by motorised traffic and the surfaces are unsuitable for such use, hence the amount of erosion caused and the cost of repairs.
Whatever your views, it is expected that the consultation will start by the autumn and last for six weeks.
You can find the full media release on the Peak District National Park at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/news/current-news/public-to-be-consulted-on-motorised-traffic-ban-for-two-green-lanes