Minority should give green lanes back

When your correspondent Mr Lupton was riding about Derbyshire’s green lanes on his motorbike 30 years ago (Derbyshire Times December 22), he was one of a very small number of enthusiasts.

Today 15 per cent of all new motor bike registrations are of the off-roading type and it’s estimated the number of off-road motor bikes in the UK is 195,000. The countryside is now plagued with them.

What the off-roaders will never admit is that taking modern vehicles on to unsurfaced lanes and byways is doing untold environmental damage. It is also a serious public nuisance.

Off the tarmac, 4x4s and motor bikes are a danger to other people, turn grassy lanes into an impassable quagmires of deep ruts and disturb the tranquility of the countryside, even in National Parks.

And please do not be lulled into thinking that the off-roaders use only Byways Open to All Traffic. In the Peak District they have claimed rights of way for vehicles on nearly all our major green lanes.

In a 2004 ICM opinion poll 87 per cent of people said that off-roading should be banned in National Parks, 79 per cent said that 4x4s and motor bikes on green lanes are a danger.

Mr Lupton and his friends are in a tiny minority and it is time they gave up their deeply anti-social activity.

Patricia Stubbs Chair, Peak District Green Lanes Alliance