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  #2  
Old 6 Apr 2008
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Thumbs down

Sorry Daz, these lanes are not suitable for wheeled traffic - they only destroy the way and make it impassable for others. You can see the damage and it's not sustainable.

You also get offroad m/cycling a bad name.
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  #3  
Old 20 May 2008
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Originally Posted by waterfox View Post
Open the roads! that is what they are for, and keep your private fields for growing food, that is what they are for..........Ch
The "roads" in question were designed for Horse/pedestrian traffic.
The advent of wealth for the masses has enabled them to buy toys, 2 and 4 wheeled, that rip the tracks apart because its boring to travel on them at walking pace. Lots of revs, low gears and mud slinging tyres look much more the part.

The basic problem is that there are TOO many people that want to do it and the tracks cant recover. Years ago when it was called scrambling in the UK, there were only a few that did it. The rest of us watched it on TV on a Sunday afternoon

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  #4  
Old 20 May 2008
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Sorry, all for saving the green lanes and that means not abusing them. Leave the lanes for walkers, horses and mountain bikes. Enjoy the peace, flora and fauna that has been massacred in the UK since the war. That island is way too small and crowded for this kind of thing now.
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  #5  
Old 20 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stretcher Monkey View Post
Leave the lanes for walkers, horses and mountain bikes.
Why?

Walkers have "millions" of miles of footpaths + "the right to roam" legislation that allows them to go onto just about anyones' land.

Horse riders have bridleways - enough said.

That leaves green lanes that have had a right of access since time began - so let's ban that as well is the basic reaction of the ramblers et al.

When green lanes are finally closed to vehicle traffic, the only ones on them will be those who ride them illegally now - those who use illegal bikes and could not give a damn anyway. In exactly the same way that illegal guns have snowballed in the UK, irrespective of gun control laws that are ever more encompassing.

I do agree though that there are about 30 million too many people in this country - now how did that happen!!
However, most of the time on most days the green lanes are empty, just as are the footpaths & bridleways.
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  #6  
Old 21 May 2008
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Dave,

You have a point and I don't really have much evidence to offer. It was more of a feeling, man! I went green laneing in Catalunya a couple of years ago and felt so bad about the experience, I thought "never again".
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  #7  
Old 21 May 2008
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Lets look at the facts people:
Walkers can use 100% of all tracks and paths (unpaved) in the UK. Where ramblers are causing excessive erosiuon damage a lot of work is being done by the National Park Authorities and voluntary groups to repair this damage
Horses and Mountain Bikes can use bridleways but not footpaths, leaving around 8% ish. Again there are codes of conduct that are adhered to and work on erosion prevention is being done for these tracks
BOaTs account for less than 5% of tracks and are the ONLY unpaved roads you can go on in a 4x4 or motorbike. They are also GREAT on a mountain bike, and I have no problems sharing.

The Ramblers Association (when its members were in their 20s) were a forward thinking progressive movement that put in a huge amount of effort to ensure that the public could enjoy the open spaces we have in the UK. It seems that now they are a bunch of geriatric reactionaries they are doing just the opposite, and trying to ban everyone who isn't one of them.

A better solution would be to encourage more work to be done on MAINTAINING the BOaTs for/by the wheeled users and to reduce the arguments/friction ban RAMBLERS from using them. Providing a footpath alongside a BOaT should be easy.

As the minority vote we are easily persecuted by the all-powerful RA.
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  #8  
Old 22 May 2008
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The problem in the UK is a general lack of respect or tolerance for anyone who doesn't do what you do.

I am (for my sins) chairman of Southern Group TRF so am quite involved with the "Green Lane" issue.

I hate to see a torn up bit of countryside the same as the next man but the off-tarmac lanes network should be sustainable in the UK. What is happening though is that as lanes are restricted, other lanes become over used, which in turn leads to them being damaged and then restricted.

4x4s
The 4x4 drivers don't do themselves any favours. There is a fine old, tree covered sunken lane near me that has some big rock steps and is a challenge on a bike and bloody difficult in a 4x4. What happens is 10 4x4s pull into the lane to try to get up, spend 2 hours winching and digging then give up and cut through the woods and accross a field to bypass the steps.

Walkers
We regularly meet families walking with there dog and the parents will normally smile and nod a hello and the kids will wave.

Ramblers
They just don't look like they are having any fun in the countryside at all. What a sour-faced bunch of ignorant w***ers. They seem to relish a confrontation and are very put out when I talk to them politely. I don't understand why they walk down a lane that is known to be used by traffic when there is a footpath 100yds away that goes in the same direction. When I get any evil looks, I like to stop and explain that they really need to understand that they are walking on a legal road and that I have past a bike test, got an MOT, Road Tax and Insurance in order to be here. If they don't like meeting traffic, they should walk somewhere else and not down the middle of a road.

Horses
Most riders are sensible and will find a spot to pull in to allow us to overtake. When they are coming the other way, we stop, cut engines and let them pass. I've never had a confrontation with a horse rider. Our club often employed to set out courses and marshal equestrian events.

Damage
There is no denying that a motorised vehicle has some impact on an un-surfaced road but even when the recreational user is restricted, agricultural vehicles are not. A lot of the lanes that have been "closed" are still in use by heavy forrestry and farm vehicles.
Lots of lanes that have been closed for just over a year have now disapeared. They are overgrown and impassable by anyone.

Recreation
If I want to play football, there are 20 or more public pitches I can play on.
Swimming; public pools.
Skateboard parks, tennis courts, etc, etc,
All funded by public money for public use. Would it be so difficult to leave a few lanes open to all users.

Sorry for the long-winded rant
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  #9  
Old 22 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Yellow Tractor View Post
Sorry for the long-winded rant
It wasn't a rant. It was very lucid.

I will miss the off-road aspect of UAE life when I return to the UK. I am hoping to try some responsible greenlaning. You've made a lot of good points. Thanks.
Stephan
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  #10  
Old 22 May 2008
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Wink Sustrans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Yellow Tractor View Post
The problem in the UK is a general lack of respect or tolerance for anyone who doesn't do what you do.

I am (for my sins) chairman of Southern Group TRF so am quite involved with the "Green Lane" issue.

I hate to see a torn up bit of countryside the same as the next man but the off-tarmac lanes network should be sustainable in the UK. What is happening though is that as lanes are restricted, other lanes become over used, which in turn leads to them being damaged and then restricted.

4x4s
The 4x4 drivers don't do themselves any favours. There is a fine old, tree covered sunken lane near me that has some big rock steps and is a challenge on a bike and bloody difficult in a 4x4. What happens is 10 4x4s pull into the lane to try to get up, spend 2 hours winching and digging then give up and cut through the woods and accross a field to bypass the steps.

Walkers
We regularly meet families walking with there dog and the parents will normally smile and nod a hello and the kids will wave.

Ramblers
They just don't look like they are having any fun in the countryside at all. What a sour-faced bunch of ignorant w***ers. They seem to relish a confrontation and are very put out when I talk to them politely. I don't understand why they walk down a lane that is known to be used by traffic when there is a footpath 100yds away that goes in the same direction. When I get any evil looks, I like to stop and explain that they really need to understand that they are walking on a legal road and that I have past a bike test, got an MOT, Road Tax and Insurance in order to be here. If they don't like meeting traffic, they should walk somewhere else and not down the middle of a road.

Horses
Most riders are sensible and will find a spot to pull in to allow us to overtake. When they are coming the other way, we stop, cut engines and let them pass. I've never had a confrontation with a horse rider. Our club often employed to set out courses and marshal equestrian events.

Damage
There is no denying that a motorised vehicle has some impact on an un-surfaced road but even when the recreational user is restricted, agricultural vehicles are not. A lot of the lanes that have been "closed" are still in use by heavy forrestry and farm vehicles.
Lots of lanes that have been closed for just over a year have now disapeared. They are overgrown and impassable by anyone.

Recreation
If I want to play football, there are 20 or more public pitches I can play on.
Swimming; public pools.
Skateboard parks, tennis courts, etc, etc,
All funded by public money for public use. Would it be so difficult to leave a few lanes open to all users.

Sorry for the long-winded rant
Not long winded at all: that adds the detail to my post on the same lines. We could also mention the cyclists. If motorcycle riders were organised in the same way as the sustrans charity (do a search for sustrans if you don't know this name) for cyclists, then there would be purpose designed and made riding ways/green lanes across the length and breadth of the UK, reserved for motorbikes.

The local councils are spending taxes on footways and cycleways, neither of which pay directly for such services - yes, of course, we all pay general taxation, but those two pampered "users" do not pay road tax, insurance etc etc - just don't get me going about caravans and their lack of road fund licence!!
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  #11  
Old 22 May 2008
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annoying

These arguements really annoy me - a BOAT is just what it says it is. If it's not signposted effectively then it needs to be. People arguing that "my hobby is quieter/more respectful/greener" just makes it worse and breeds resentment.

The countryside is also where real people live and not just a glass-palace for do-gooders to act out their fantasies of rural britain/delusions of green-ness by cycling around for a bit before getting in their cars and polluting their way back to their convenience-lives. Just like it's not their right to have it clean smelling, free of mud and nice and quiet for the old folk. People should be allowed to drive their motorbikes or 4x4s on these tracks without condemnation. Illegal riding is just that in that same way as the annoying family you find camping in your field off the footpath. They are just as in-the-wrong but it shouldn't be used in arguements that affect the majority of legal users.
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  #12  
Old 22 May 2008
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Off roading is great fun, it is very damaging, but it also limited to a very small amount of tracks/road, many of which were either paved or graded a very long time ago (and could therefore be restored to their original condition).

Why is this even a point of discussion/argument? And why oh why are any of US arguing to have green-laning banned altogether??

Stick to the rules, try not to let irate rambler abuse get to you (you will get it whether you are on a bike, motorbike, going climbing or even flying a kite out in 'their' open spaces), support the TRF and do whatever you can to make our tiny voice heard over the RA rabble!
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  #13  
Old 22 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caminando View Post
Its not a rant.

But I cant agree with a number of your points. Agri vehicles have a wide footprint and usually do less damage. (Not always)

Your comments on ramblers/walkers are unreasonable and detract from your assertion that you speak reasonably to them.

The 4x4s - yes they destroy big time. And you expect people to distinguish between destructive bikes and destructive jeeps?

Your first comment about lack of respect in the UK sounds like a Daily Mail editorial.

I have seen ancient footpaths in France totally destroyed by bikes - all over France. There are ruts and channels up to 1 metre deep, ripped up tree roots, dislodged rocks, loosened earth which washes away - it's endless. Ive seen up to 16 bikes roaring thru the woods and paths destroying everything for others.

I think off road biking is fantastic fun - but unsustainable, unfortunately, in these circumstances.
There are a couple of lanes near me that have been torn to oblivion by forrestry vehicles. They are TROed (Traffic Regulation Order) for recreational use but are still used by comercial vehicles. The problem is that the rambliers can't tell the difference between the damage caused by a JCB Fourtrack dragging logs and recreational vehicles in much the same way that they don't see a difference between a handfull of trail bikes and a pile of motorcrossers.

As I said, most of the walkers I have met are generally cheerful and friendly. The gangs of 30 or more ramblers are a different matter though.

Can't comment on the Daily Mail reference, haven't read a paper for years.

I agree that recreational vehicles do cause dammage, I'm not daft. What I do have a problem with is the under-handed way that our rights to participate in anything other than cuddly, clean, eco-friendly and safe passtimes is being taken away.

When we had loads of lanes to use, it was very rare to see another bike all day and we hardly saw any damage.

Sorry, ranting again
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  #14  
Old 22 May 2008
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Wink Vested interests rule

I guess it is being discussed, not for the first time, because the subject is still current in the UK (there are other threads that bring out the same/similar point for the USA where off-road riding is also being restricted).

Anyway, for what it is worth, there is a whole vested interest in continuing the restrictions, particularly among those who are employed in such areas of work:-
I was somewhat taken aback a short time ago by a news item on the TV - the gist of it was as follows -
Ramblers of a certain kind were referred to as "Goretex man" - these are those who go onto the mountain paths in all weathers, thereby causing increased erosion of the footpaths by their footfall: the inference was that either walkers should only go out on dry paths (mostly anyway) or more money should be spent on building up the paths to "all weather capability". Of course the main enthusiast for the latter was working for a national park providing footpaths. He just might be running out of work?
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  #15  
Old 27 May 2008
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I'm not quite sure if Camandino fully understands what a 'green lane' is, or indeed what the 'politics' are behind this ongoing strangulation of motorised access to what is after all a historical network of unpaved roads.

I'm sure that Big Yellow Tractor can elucidate if necessary, but AFAIK in simple terms following the (controversial) re-classifications, there are 3 categories of unpaved access routes in the UK:

Footpaths - self explanatory, but intended for walking or perhaps cycling. These routes can intersect boundaries like hedgerows or fences, but the boundary remains intact and a means of crossing them such as a stile or restricted gate is allowed or provided.

Bridleways are a network of larger paths intended to be accessible by ridden horses. No obstruction to free passage along these routes should be made, and if they cross boundaries, then typically there will be a gap in the boundary which may be secured by a gate, but it shouldn't be locked.

BOATs are Byways Open to All Traffic, and are lanes which should be accessible by all and any means of road-legal vehicles.

Now, the network of footpaths and bridleways within the UK under the current structure is vast and covers many thousands of miles. BOATs on the other hand are far fewer in number and could probably be measured in tens of hundreds of miles. The comment made about ramblers getting 'precious' about vehicular usage of BOATs when they have protected and unfettered access to footpaths and bridleways is very, very fair... Local Authorities have a statutory duty to maintain BOATs, and to ensure that they remain accessible. Sadly, it is easier - and doubtless cheaper - for them to slap an indefinite TRO (Traffic Regulation Order) on a lane, effectively closing it to all vehicular traffic. The other way the Local Authorities are being sneaky is by re-classifying parts of BOATs as Bridleways, effectively sealing or closing then to vehicular traffic.

The only really effective way to help maintain and protect our access to these lanes is to join and support the TRF, whose unstinting efforts are helping to slow down the rate at which ancient rights of way are being taken away from us. Anybody who is serious about protecting legitimate trail riding rights owes it to themselves and the greater trail riding community to join.

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