Survey Shows Majority Support Off Road Vehicle Ban
A survey commissioned by the Ramblers' Association shows that a vast majority of the public support the banning of recreational motor vehicles from Britain's national parks.
Posted: 25 March 2004
A Dorset MP has called for councils to be given powers to ban 4x4s
and off-road motorcycles from byways which were traditionally used by
horse and cart..
Robert Walker, the MP for North Dorset has introduced a bill aimed
at making the measures law. The Restricted Byways Bill is supported
by the Ramblers' Association and the British Horse Society, but is
reportedly unlikely to be passed due to lack of parliamentary
The bill coincides with a government ban on recreational vehicles
using vulnerable sections of the Ridgeway over the six winter months.
See separate story.
Poll Supports Off Roading Ban
Meanwhile an ICM Poll commissioned by the Ramber's Association
shows what the RA calls 'overwhelming public support for ban on
off-roading in countryside.
Some 94 per-cent of respondents said that is was important to
preserve and protect the countryside with 87 per-cent supporting a
ban on recreational off-roading in national parks and areas of
outstanding natural beauty.
There was also concern that 4x4s and recreational motorcycle
riders caused danger to walkers using rights of way in the
countryside and 69% of people stated that encountering vehicles would
spoil their enjoyment of a country walk.
The survey has been timed to coincide with a government
consultation aimed at closing a legal loophole which allows motorised
vehicular rights on byways established when the only transport was
horsedrawn. The RA believes that recreational motorised vehicle use
is irrevocably damaging such routes, many of which have
Not A Total Ban
Janet Davies, Head of Footpaths Policy at the RA, said, "The RA is
not campaigning for a total ban on off-roading, but believes that
allowing recreational motor vehicles such as trail bikes and 4x4s
onto routes shared by walkers, cyclists and horse riders is rarely
appropriate. We want our greenlanes heritage enjoyed in a
sustainable way rather than being 'given-over' to vehicles; the
results of this survey show that a majority of people agree with that
For more details, see this
story on the RA site.
Discuss this story
If you draw the people's attention to the subject they will agree with the proposal that recreational motoring in byways should be banned. They suppport this proposal because they do not like the sound of 'greenlaning' which sounds as if it could be unpleasant and vaguely threatening to the countryside. In fact they are unlikey to have seen anyone engaged in this activity or the dreaded 'damage' as ruts are known knowadays. Speaking for myself I must say that I have never seen recreational vehicles in PROWs while walking in the national parks and neither have I seen vehicle ruts. This is hardly surprising when you consider that only 5% of PROWs are available for driving in and most byways in the national parks have a stony surface.
People in authority think that they have a duty to provide access to the countryside for walkers, cyclists and horseriders on routes that vehicles cannot use and that therefore recreational vehicles on byways are in contradiction to that policy. When these groups start to move into byways in force pressure mounts to ban the recreational drivers from the byways since sharing them with the other groups is supposed to be intolerable and will spoil their enjoyment of the countryside. Consequently the recreational motorists using byways are having their enjoyment of the countryside spoiled by this constant harrassment.
In a densly populated country like Britain people have to accept that from time to time they will share space for outdoor recreation with activities they would rather not share space with. This applies not just to 4WDs but also to things like waterskiing, microlight aircraft, rally cars, etc. As long as these activities are confined to certain places where people know where to expect them they should be tolerated.
Posted: 14/09/2005 at 11:17
See more comments...
This subject has been covered in many other threads on here and is usually a catalyst for bad feeling, abusive posts and general trolling.
Nuff said I think.
Posted: 14/09/2005 at 11:33