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Please repeal the 2006 NERC act. This will restore vehicular rights to the network of green lanes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Comment 1st July 2010

For several decades vehicular rights applied to a network of green lanes across our country. These vehicular rights were used by farmers and other local users, but were enjoyed-lawfully- by other user groups such as trail riders(riders of legal, registered, taxed and insured motorcycles).

These lanes included byways, RUPPS(roads used a s public paths), ORPA's and UCR's.

Under pressure from an unholy alliance of large landowners and the Ramblers Association(vocals plus money), the Labour Govt capitulated and downgraded some of the aforementioned routes. For instance, it is no longer possible to lawfully traverse a RUPP using a motor vehicle, they became 'restricted byways'. This has left many thousands of  lawful trail riders with very limited access to the countryside. It has NOT stopped the untaxed and illegal hooligans that so vexed the complainants in the Ramblers Association.

Many of these old green lanes are now overgrown, used by no one. Or worse, are found suddenly incorporated into a landowners property. In remote areas there are few walkers anyway, and the pasttime precious to many people is severely restricted. This was vindictive piece of legislation,  promoted and funded by the 'holier than thou' Ramblers Association. It has had little or no impact, save the damage done to local pubs, shops, motorcycle shops and specialists used by the trail riders. For more info see the Trail Riders Fellowship website.

Worse still, most 'ramblers' are urban dwellers, often driving their vehicles into the countryside, where they spend a few hours rambling, no money in local businesses, and then they drive home. Whilst the lawful, predominantly rural dwelling trail riders sit fulminating at home, bike garaged or now sold, being lectured to by the Ramblers Association.

This should be reversed. Vehicular rights should be resored to pre- NERC routes. Illegal use of untaxed vehicles is a matter for the police anywhere, including in the countryside. This vindictive act has made matters worse for lawful trail riders, whilst the illegal users carry on with impunity. 

Why does this matter?

These lanes were enjoyed lawfully for decades, by responsible user groups including trail riders. Urbanites, wealthy landowners, ramblers helped to push vindictive legislation against these lawful users. This must change.

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