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Traffic Regulation Order consultation, Hollinsclough Rakes, please take part

Staffordshire is at last consulting on a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to close Swan and Limer Rakes to motor vehicles. Please support the TRO by emailing by 7 February and quoting reference HoCPS/TM/TR34/23.

Details of the TRO are at TR34/23 Swan Rake and Limers Rake, Hollinsclough. – Staffordshire County Council

The Rakes have been closed to all users for several years because off-roader damage made them dangerous. Staffordshire has now repaired them and wants to close them motor vehicles.

The grounds for the TRO are that the Rakes are inherently unsuitable for use with motor vehicles and that they should be preserved for use by walkers, horse riders and cyclists.

You can see here the scale of the damage done in the past by motor vehicles.

Calling Time on Off-roading

The Green Lanes Environmental Action Movement has published a detailed account the public nuisance and environmental damage being done by offroading. Calling Time on Off-roading is  illustrated throughout with photographs and spells out how and why current legislation is failing to protect green lanes.

Defra is to take action on green lanes.

Following its inclusion of questions about green lanes in the public consultation on its response to the Glover Landscapes Review, Defra says it is going to identify green lanes that are unsuitable for motor vehicle use and seek agreement from the motor vehicle user groups that they will not object to Traffic Regulation Orders closing these routes to non-essential motor vehicles. Defra will also be revising its guidance on making TROs.

Seasonal TRO planned for Moscar Cross Road

Sheffield City Council has agreed to put a seasonal Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) on Moscar Cross Road. This is a Byway Open to All Traffic in the Peak Park on the edge of Sheffield in the Parish of Bradfield. We have been pressing for action on Moscar Cross for many years. It gets wrecked by 4x4s and motor bikes every winter, making it impassable by walkers, horse riders and cyclists. But nothing is happening immediately. Sheffield will be monitoring the route over the coming winter so they can decide over which months to TRO needs to be in place. For other news, see our latest newsletter.

Government consulting on banning off-roading! Please take part

The Government’s public consultation on the Glover Landscapes Review includes questions about stopping off-roading on green lanes by 4x4s and motor bikes. We urge you to please take part in the consultation. This chance to stop off-roading may not come again for many years. The government response to Glover and the consultation questions are here. There are four questions (14-17) on green lanes and whether motor vehicles should be prohibited from using them.

Please take part in the consultation, and please pass on the word to friends, family and contacts who want to see an end to off-roading in the Peak Park, and beyond. Thank you!


Outrage at Bamford Clough tarmac

Bamford Clough was closed for many years due to off-roader damage which exposed a live electricity cable. DCC’s solution? Tarmac. Horse riders are outraged as the route is a 1:4 hill and tarmac on such a steep slope is very dangerous for horses, especially when covered in wet fallen leaves. DCC’s response? Putting up a sign saying riders should dismount. This will make no difference as a horse being led can just as easily fall and injure itself and its rider as a ridden horse. The route is a narrow Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) where there is nowhere to get out of the way of vehicles. The legal definition of a BOAT is that though legal for by motor vehicles, the ‘majority user’ is ‘persons on foot or horseback’.

Highway Code consultation

The Department for Transport has been consulting on proposed changes to the Highway Code designed to improve safety for vulnerable road users. PDGLA has responded to say that the Code should make it clear that the Highway Code applies to all types of highway used by motor vehicles, including green lanes.

Over Haddon to Youlgreave to be bridleway

Good news. A public inquiry into the Byway Open to all Traffic (BOAT) claim on the track between the Lathkill in Over Haddon and Back Lane in Youlgreave has decided that the route is a bridleway. The BOAT claim was successfully challenged at the public inquiry by PDGLA and the Peak Horsepower bridleway group. We are very grateful to the residents, walkers, farmers and riders who provided crucial evidence

Callow Bank now a bridleway

Callow Bank (Parish of Hathersage) is now a bridleway. A public inquiry into the rights of way on it was held at the beginning of October. The bridleway decision came in within a matter of weeks. Such a quick decision is very unusual. It usually takes the best part of three months to get a rights of way public inquiry the decision. The reason for the quick turnaround is that, compared with most inquiries, this one was very straightforward.

All the historic evidence pointed clearly to the track being a bridleway and until the early 2000s there had been scarcely any use by motor bikes and none at all by 4x4s. Around 2007 the route was discovered by 4x4s. They started to use it in large numbers and trashed it. The landowners got fed up and in 2011 they blocked the route by locking a gate. The gate has remained locked ever since.

There was no byway open to all traffic (BOAT) claim on the route. This meant that the date when the rights of way on the track were called into question and for looking back to see if motor vehicles had established a right of way through 20 years use was not a BOAT claim (the usual situation in Derbyshire). It was the date when the gate was locked (ie 2011).

The locking of the gate and the impact of 2006 Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act meant an easy win for bridleway. Locking the gate put a stop to any chance of a right of way for motor vehicles based on landowner consent; the NERC Act meant that use of the track by motor vehicles could not count towards creating a right of way through 20 years use. This is because the Act put a stop to motor vehicle use claims extending beyond 2006.

Had there been a BOAT claim on the route, it could have been a different story. Most of the cases we deal with at public inquiry are not like Callow Bank. They concern routes with BOAT claims them which were made by the motor bike lobby in 1985 or 1985 in a deliberate attempt to escape the effects of the NERC Act. In these cases we are dealing with potentially valid 20-year use claims.

PDGLA worked with the Callow Bank landowners to gather and present the key evidence. We are very grateful to them for locking the gate and proving other evidence.

Wetton TRO now in force

The Peak Park Traffic Regulation Order prohibiting use of the green lane at Wetton Hills by recreational motor vehicles (4x4s, quad bikes, motorised trail bikes) came into force on 8 November.  Well done Peak Park.