This is an archived press release
Friday 23 March 2012
Action plans agreed today (March 23) set out details of how the impact of recreational 4x4 vehicles and trail bikes will be managed on unsealed routes and off road in the Peak District National Park over the next 12 months.
The Peak District National Park Authority’s Audit, Resources and Performance committee approved action on green lanes, controlling illegal use of unsealed routes and communications.
A list of 27 green lanes have been identified as priority routes for attention; 24 in Derbyshire and 3 in Cheshire, South Yorkshire and Staffordshire. The number of priority routes may increase, particularly outside Derbyshire, as further routes are surveyed by national park rangers.
All vehicles using the priority routes will be electronically logged.
A variety of actions is planned, including repairs to surfaces, communicating with relevant parish councils and consultations on proposed regulations to vehicle use.
Christopher Pennell, chair of the Audit, Resources and Performance committee, said: “In addition to our responsibility to protect the special qualities of the national park, we know that the issue of recreational 4x4s, quads and trail bikes using green lanes matters a great deal to local communities.
“We have listened to their concerns and in December committed £100,000 of extra resources to this work to protect the national park despite the budget cuts we have made in other areas.
“Since then, we have appointed a full time rights of way officer to speed up the production of route action plans to manage green lanes and deliver the revised strategy for managing recreational off road vehicles on unsealed routes.
“The plans we have agreed today show that we have made good progress in just a few weeks and we are keen to keep up the momentum.”
The Authority wants people to enjoy the national park landscape for the benefits of recreation but in ways that don’t harm the environment. It works in partnership with responsible 4x4 and trail bike user groups, the police, highways authorities, the Local Access Forum, and others including horse riders, walkers and cyclists.
Christopher said: “We want to keep people informed and have begun by publishing individual route actions plans on our website and written to relevant parish councils in the national park to explain what we are doing. We will also produce a monthly newsletter to supplement the regular updates we already provide to vehicle users.”
Individual route action plans for 16 routes identified as being in most urgent need of improved management are now available on www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/priorityroutes He added: “Members are keen to follow up progress over the summer and look forward to a report to the meeting in September.”
For more information about the Authority’s work on managing drivers on unsealed highways and off-road, visit www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/vehicles