Written by News

Stuck In A Rut

It’s not often that I pay Janet Street-Porter all that much attention, but in today’s Independent (no direct link since at time of writing I couldn’t get onto the site, and in any case, the article is bound to be for subscibers/payees only) she makes an excellent case for responding to the government’s consultation on the use of mechanically powered vehicles on Rights of Way.
This really boils down to people using four-wheel drive vehicles and motorbikes on certain categories of paths and roads around the country. And it’s pretty self-evident that some of these vehicles can cause vast ruts in the ground, destroying paths, and turning others into muddy quagmires.
Here follows my response to the consultation sent via email:
William Propert-Lewis
Countryside (Recreation and Landscape) Division 5
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
ZOne 1/01
2 The Square
Temple Quay
18 March 2004
Dear Mr Propert-Lewis,
I am responding to this consulation in a personal capacity. I regularly use footpaths, bridleways, and byways as either on foot or as a cyclist, adhering to current restrictions and laws.
I’m deeply concerned about the obvious deterioration that one can see over routes where 4×4, and other motorised vehicles, are currently able to pass. So I take particular interest in this consulation.
Proposal 3 – I would agree with the proposal completely.
Proposal 4 – Simply because horse and carts may have been able to use a byway previously, a motorised vehicle should not have the right now. I’d be in favour of implementing the proposal forthwith, with minimal time for applications for byways open to all traffic to be made.
Proposal 6 – My only issue with this is that legislation should ensure that simply because a property owner has rights of access to his building, he should not be able misuse this access and be make recreational use of a right of way afforded him.
In summary, I’d like to see legislation limiting the damage being done to our countryside by inconsiderate motorists. Many thousands of us enjoy the peace, quiet and nature that our countryside offers us, be it on foot, bicylce or horseback. Responsible usage of this valuable resource is essential, if our green and pleasant land isn’t to be turned into a noisy muddy bog.
Yours sincerely,
Adam Bowie