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Information campaign seeks support of 'off-road' riders and drivers

This is an archived press release

Monday 24 November 2008

24 November 2008

Information campaign seeks support of ‘off-road’ riders and drivers

A joint operation has taken place to encourage 4x4 drivers and trail bikers to act responsibly when using unsurfaced countryside routes in the Peak District National Park.

Yesterday’s (Sunday 23 November) day-long initiative included three road traffic officers and one Community Officer from Derbyshire Police and six rangers and estate wardens from the Peak District National Park Authority’s field services area team.

They spoke with drivers and riders at meeting points, refreshment areas and the countryside around Pindale, Longstone Edge, Rowland, Hassop, Eastern Moor, Eyam, Pilsley, Calver, Great Hucklow, Hound Kirk and Abney.

Advice and information about the best ways of minimising the disruption caused to residents and other users of the land was given to the riders or drivers of the vehicles.

PC Kevin Lowe, who led the operation, said: “This was not an initiative designed to enforce the law which relates to some off road tracks and green lanes.

“It was designed to enable us to talk to 4x4 drivers and trail bikers in a friendly way about the information that is available to help them act responsibly. This joint operation was a great success and we were met in the main with full support from the off road drivers or riders for the project.

“At the same time we wanted to let villagers in the local communities know that we continue to take this issue seriously and are working together to investigate any issues that 4x4 or trail bike use might cause for them.”

Seventeen 4x4 drivers and 43 riders of off-road motorcycles were given information during the day. However, nine motorcycle riders are to be investigated for having no insurance. Three of these riders also had no vehicle excise licence and one had failed to notify a change of ownership to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Several other riders were given advice about the legal requirements of number plates.

Yesterday’s event was the latest part of Operation Blackbrook, launched in April 2007, to encourage 4x4 drivers and trail bikers to:

  • Only use lawful unsurfaced roads and byways
  • Understand the impact of their activities on the lives of local residents
  • Use peer pressure to stop a minority of motor vehicle users from driving unlawfully or inconsiderately.

A section has been created on the Peak District National Park Authority website at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/vehicles to give advice to motorists and residents about the issue. It includes maps of areas where drivers and riders should avoid, details of how to report problems and case studies of areas where issues have been successfully managed.

Mike Rhodes, access and rights of way manager for the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “We are working closely with the police and local councils to manage the use of unsurfaced routes for the benefit of everyone.

“Most 4x4 and trail bike riders use the Peak District responsibly and we want to encourage all their peers to behave in the same way. By meeting them face-to-face we are able to pass on information and get their thoughts and ideas on ways that we can work together to improve management of this activity.”

This is an archived press release

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