Following another public inquiry held this autumn, Pretty Wood in Eyam is now a dead end for motor vehicles. This is because the Inquiry decided that the track which continued from Pretty Wood in the Stoke direction is a Restricted Byway (no motor vehicles allowed) and that other track which joins Pretty Wood is a Footpath.
Black Harry Lane, Longstone Edge area, has been confirmed as a bridleway following a recent public inquiry into the BOAT claim on the lane. PDGLA convinced the Inquiry Inspector a) that the route is historically a bridleway and b) that its use by off-road vehicles during the critical 20 years prior to the BOAT claim was both insufficient to establish a right of way for vehicles and had been possible only by destroying walls and winching out boulders put on the lane by landowners to try and prevent vehicle use.
The Peak Park decided on 7 November to use a Traffic Regulation Order to permanently exclude all motor vehicles from Leys Lane in Great Longstone. It was the campaign to save this lane from off-roading which paved the way for the formation of PDGLA. The campaign was also featured in the BBC documentary about off-roading in the National Park. Four Lanes have now been protected by PDNPA (the Roych, Long Causeway, Chapel Gate and now Leys Lane). We will continue to press PDNPA to use Traffic Regulation Orders wherever they are necessary to restore amenity and access for non-vehicle users or to protect the natural beauty of the National Park.
There was a debate in the House of Lords on motor vehicle use of green lanes on 28 October. The debate was on an amendment to the Deregulation Bill which if accepted will require the Secretary of State for the Environment to report to Parliament within a year of the passage of the Bill on whether the law should continue to permit the use of unsealed highways by motor vehicles. You can read the full text of the debate on page 9 of Hansard.
There are problems with motor vehicle use of green lanes in Wales as well as in England. The area around Llangollen is badly affected and a group there has been campaigning against off-roading for some time. Problems include destroyed surfaces, damage to adjacent moorland, noise pollution, anti-social behaviour and danger to non-vehicle users. You can find out more in our October newsletter.
An online petition has been launched by a supporter calling on government to change the law so as to stop motor vehicles using green lanes. Please sign it and please forward it to friends and contacts.
The long awaited Peak Park Traffic Regulation Order excluding all types of motor vehicle from Long Causeway is now in place. It came in on 18 September. The causeway has also been fully repaired and is once again a wonderful route for walkers and horse riders. It can also be used by cyclists and horse-drawn carriages. But if you see any 4x4s or motor bikes please report them to the Police by calling 101. Congratulations to the Peak Park for its determination to protect this superb route.
We reported that Bradley Lane, Pilsley had been saved and was to become a bridleway. Now the Trail Riders Fellowship motor bike group has launched a High Court challenge to the Planning Inspector’s decision. The grounds for the challenge seem to be nothing more than that the TRF doesn’t agree with the Inspector – ie there appear to be no actual points of law at issue. We will keep you posted.
The BBC East Midlands Inside Out programme is showing a short feature on off-roading in the Peak Park on Monday 3 March, 7.30. If you don’t get BBC East Midlands you can catch it on the Iplayer.
The Peak District has at last got its first Traffic Regulation Orders. PDNPA decided on 24 January to permanently exclude all types of motor vehicle from the Roych and Chapel Gate, two of the most important and most damaged green lanes in the Derbyshire Dales. PDGLA thanks everyone who took part in the consultations. This was the second time PDNPA has made the same decision on the Roych. They wanted to review recent repairs to see if the repairs had made any difference to the need for a TRO. They decided they did not as the grounds for the TRO are the preservation of natural beauty and the amenity of non-vehicle users and have nothing to do with the state of the surface.