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Off-road riders and drivers put on right track

This is an archived press release

Tuesday 13 January 2009

13 January 2009

Off-road riders and drivers put on right track

Operation Blackbrook joint team
Police and national park rangers mounted a joint operation to encourage 4x4 drivers and trail bikers to act responsibly in the Peak District National Park.

The day-long initiative on Saturday (Jan 10), part of Operation Blackbrook, involved giving out leaflets and talking to recreational drivers and motorcyclists at popular meeting points and refreshment areas. The aim was to make them more aware of lawful and unlawful routes and responsible behaviour towards residents and other users of the national park.

Three Derbyshire police officers, five from South Yorkshire, seven Peak District National Park Authority rangers and a rights of way officer from Derbyshire County Council approached a total of 18 trail bikers and 24 4x4 drivers.

The operation covered Pindale near Castleton (which contains an archaeological site on English Heritage’s “Heritage at Risk” list), Longstone Edge, Rowland, Eyam, Great Hucklow, Abney and Houndkirk Moor.

Operation Blackbrook co-ordinator PC Kevin Lowe said: “This was the second event of its kind, and was a great success. We were able to talk to the drivers and bikers in a friendly way and give them the information they need to act responsibly.

“At the same time it enables local people to know that we take this matter seriously and are working together to tackle issues that 4x4 or trail bike use might cause for them.”

Jenny Waller, national park Field Services north area team manager, said: “In the main most users were really supportive of the initiative and the majority were using the correct routes in a sensitive way, being respectful of other users. Many were members of organised clubs which give members researched routes they can enjoy, while ensuring they are all legal.”

One 4x4 driver was cautioned for a road tax offence.

Motorists and residents can get full information on the Peak District National Park Authority website - at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/vehicles It includes maps of areas drivers and riders should avoid, details of how to report problems and case studies of areas where problems have been successfully managed.

Operation Blackbrook encourages 4x4 drivers and trail bikers to:

•only use lawful unsurfaced routes and byways

•understand the impact of their activities on the lives of local residents

•use peer pressure to stop unlawful or inconsiderate behaviour by a minority.

This is an archived press release

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