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Government consultation on the Glover Landscapes Review – an opportunity to stop ‘off-roading’ in the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs)

The Green Lanes Environment Movement (GLEAM) have written to draw our attention to the governments consultation on its response to the Glover landscapes review. Part of the consultation addresses the problem of recreational motor vehicles (4x4s, quad bikes and motorbikes) driving on green lanes, in particular in the National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Green lanes are either Byways Open to all Traffic (BOATs) or unsealed unclassified roads (UURs). BOATs carry legal rights for motor vehicles. The rights of way on all UURs are unknown.

‘Off-roading’ on both BOATs and UURs is a serious issue for the local communities affected by it, for non-motorised users and for farmers and landowners. It is also clear that, despite the legal powers available to the Highway Authorities and the National Park Authorities, the current legislative framework for controlling use of recreational motor vehicles on unsealed tracks in the countryside has not stopped the damage which is being done the fabric of either the National Parks or the AONBs. Nor is the current legislation protecting local communities and non-motorised users from public nuisance, sometimes danger.

The AONBs have no legal powers of their own to stop or control off-roading and are dependent on the Highway Authorities. The latter are reluctant to act because of the costs involved in making Traffic Regulation Orders and the risk of legal challenge by the recreational motoring lobby. Meanwhile cash-strapped Highway Authorities are having to bear the costs of repairing, often re-repairing, green lanes that cannot sustain use by powerful recreational motor vehicles.

The government’s response to the Glover review and the online consultation on its response are at Government response to the Landscapes Review – Defra – Citizen Space . The ‘off-roading’ questions are questions 14 to 17. For further information, a briefing paper from GLEAM is attached. Please note that the consultation closes on 9 April 2022.

GLEAM briefing

GLEAM briefing

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