Vehicles in rural areas

landisours landisours at
Thu Jan 27 16:36:15 GMT 2005


24th January 2005

In a statement last week, Alun Michael the minister for Rural Affairs 
hasset out his proposals for new legislation to control the use of 
mechanicallypropelled vehicles on unsurfaced Right of Way.The Green 
Lane Association, while still studying the full potential of that 
statement would like to make the following observations. 

The minister accepts "there is a place in the countryside for 
vehicles" and "many byways are used by motor vehicles, apparently for 
recreation, withoutany detriment to the character of the way or the 
enjoyment and safety of other users". 

GLASS believes there may be a need for more enforcement of current 
legislation to cover "green lane" use, and welcome the news that 
enforcementof existing legislation covering illegal use will be 
improved. The ministersaid, "There are also places where motorised 
vehicles have a significantimpact on other users. The impact of those 
who disregard limitations ontheir use or act in a way which is 
offensive to residents, farmers, andother users is considerable. 
Partly this is a matter of behaviour ratherthan strict legal 
demarcation. This is not helped by "macho" culture in somegroups - 
reflected in some publications and websites which encourages"mud-
plugging", or driving in large convoys on green lanes. The promotion 
ofsuch activities as driving in a 50-strong convoy through vulnerable 
lanes isnot just irresponsible but it discourages other users and it 
provokes freshcalls for activities to be banned". 

To counter the claims by anti vehicle organisations such as the 
RamblersAssociation, and GLEAM, that all vehicular use is to be 
banned, the Ministersaid " Mechanically propelled vehicles should 
continue to have a place inusing and enjoying the rights of way 
network" and also "coupled with a rangeof management and enforcement 
measures will provide a sound, sustainablebasis for providing for 
motor vehicles in the countryside". 

GLASS accepts the need for sustainable use, and welcome a firm and 
fair setof guidelines to decide the sustainability of any particular 

Alun Michael also said "Where recreation is concerned, motor vehicles 
do nothave to be confined to existing public rights of way. A co-
ordinatedapproach is needed to ensure that opportunities for 
sustainable routes toaccommodate vehicular use and managed provision 
of sites for off roadrecreation are properly considered,where 

Graham Hall Green Lane Association 
PO Box 48 Huntingdon PE26 2YY 
 graham.hall at 
phone: 01354 677236 fax: 01354 677476 

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