Green fields highlighted by sunrays through heavy clouds from Curbar Edge

FAQs - Vehicles

Motor vehicle and motorcycle users FAQs

Reporting potential illegal activity

Illegal or unauthorised activity within the National Park may include:

  • The riding of motorbikes, quad bikes or motor vehicles on routes not permitted for motor vehicles or 'off road' on fragile habitats such as designated sites.
  • The use of the above vehicles with identifying marks removed such as registration plates.
  • Aggressive, anti-social or abusive behaviour from users of motor vehicles against other users of the National Park.

Local police support the capturing of evidential photographs or information (such as registration plates) that may support action being taken against illegal activity, but only when it is safe to do and at no personal risk. The police or the National Park Authority do not recommend approaching anyone undertaking potential illegal activity and visitors should never put themselves in danger to do so.

Where can I go off-roading?

‘Off-roading’ is often used to mean 4x4 and motorcycle use away from the normal road network. It is legal for vehicles to use unsurfaced routes, such as byways, but not to go on to private land unless with the landowner’s permission.

Which routes can I use?

Byways Open to all Traffic are routes legally used by motorised vehicles, carriage drivers, horse riders, cyclists and walkers. There are other routes known as Unclassified Roads where the legal right has yet to be clarified by the Highway Authorities.

Where are these routes shown?

Ordnance Survey maps show routes available for motorised vehicle use. Highway Authorities have the most up to date information and are responsible for producing what is called the Definitive Map – this gives the legal status of routes and says who can and can’t use them.

Why are there fewer routes for me to use?

A number of routes previously used by motor vehicles are now not legally available to motors. This is because of changes in legislation or legal classification by the Highway Authority. There are also some routes where restrictions are in place because of unsuitability or to enable repairs to be carried out.

Where can I find out about restricted routes?

The Authority has made a number of traffic regulation orders restricting use to protect the National Park. You can see details on our restrictions page. Some routes will also have signage encouraging restraint at certain times of the year. Please take notice of any signs.

What if I see someone where they shouldn’t be?

If you come across motorsport enthusiasts who are driving or riding in areas where you know they shouldn’t be then please either encourage them to act responsibly or report to the Police by phoning 101.

I’d like to organise an event?

If you plan to organise an event for any type of motor vehicle, you must get authorisation from the Motor Sports Association. Such events are governed by strict regulations. Please also notify the relevant Highway Authority and ourselves.

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