IMPORTANT: Off road use of vehicles

  • Thread starter Michael Farthin
  • Start date



M

Michael Farthin

Guest
I am posting the forwarded letter below on behalf of and with permission
from:

Friends of the Lake District Murley Moss Oxenholme Road Kendal LA9 7SS Tel: 01539 720788 Fax: 01539
730355 www.fld.org.uk

<Forwarded Letter>

Memo to Members and other supporters re off road vehicles DEADLINE FOR REPLIES 19TH MARCH

In December, DEFRA published a consultation document entitled 'Use of mechanically propelled
vehicles on rights of way'. This is available on the DEFRA website (www.defra.gov.uk) and responses
have to be in by 19th March. This document recognises that there are increasing problems being
caused by off road vehicles on rights of way, and that the use of many routes today is inconsistent
with their original use, i.e. originally for horse and cart transport, not recreational 4WD
vehicles. The document says the proposals "aim to balance the interests of individuals and
organisations with appropriate protection for the tranquillity and conservation value of the
countryside". The document focuses on the following areas:-

* Better awareness and enforcement of existing powers to manage vehicular use.
* Revision of the best practice guide Making the Best of Byways which gives advice on managing off
road vehicles on rights of way.
* A limit to the basis on which new rights of way may be acquired for mechanically propelled
vehicles, and the use of the category of restricted byway to prevent future use by mechanically
propelled vehicles.

We are aware that there is disappointment over the "low-key" reaction to the proposals from non-
motorised users, individuals and organisations seeking to protect the countryside from the damaging
effects of these vehicles. Those who shout loudest get heard, and at the moment off-road motor
vehicle users are engaged in a very vocal and intimidating campaign to protect their interests. It
is of vital importance that we do our best to support the proposals as a matter of urgency: without
action now the government may lose interest in tackling this damaging activity. Letters should be
with DEFRA before 19th March. Here are some suggestions for action, one a quick letter, or if you
wish a longer and more detailed letter:-

* Write to Alun Michael (c/o DEFRA, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR) to support the
consultation document proposals, and argue for tougher enforcement, and stronger controls.

* If you want to submit a more detailed letter to Alun Michael at the above address and also to
William Propert-Lewis, Countryside (Recreation and Landscape) Division 5, DEFRA, Zone 1/01, 2 The
Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6EB (he is accepting responses to the consultation) you could
focus on :-

* Support the document, particularly the recognition by DEFRA of the problems off road vehicles
cause in the countryside.

* Say it does not go far enough or introduce additional controls. Argue for a review of Traffic
Regulation Orders (TROs) so that they can be processed faster, cheaper and be more effective.

* Argue for National Park Authorities to have the power to process and implement TROs in their own
area, rather than having to approach the Highways Authority to get them to do it as at present.

* Highlight the problems caused by the lack of enforcement of current legislation and TROs by the
Police and that it is no good relying on the Police if they will not use their current powers to
enforce the law.

* Ask that DEFRA look to downgrading Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATS) to Restricted Byways.

* Ask for stronger powers to restrict off road vehicles to be given to National Park Authorities and
those responsible for managing Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

* Include any examples you may have of conflicts between off road vehicles and other recreational
users; damage to routes caused by off road vehicles, etc.

Many thanks for your time and help,

Ian Brodie Director of Policy

</Forwarded letter>

Posted By:
--
Michael Farthing cyclades Software House
 
D

Dom J

Guest
I've replyed to the proposals Re off roading, but in support of responsible off roading. What
follows are my replies to bits in the original post from M Farthing.

" Those who shout loudest get heard, and at the moment off-road motor vehicle users are engaged in a
very vocal and intimidating"

I've not heard of any intimidating stuff going on. Off road motor vehicle users are being vocal
because if we aren't then we will lose access to the countryside.

" tackling this damaging activity"

So walking isn't a damaging activity then??. All users of the countryside contribute to damage
caused in the countryside not just 4x4's etc etc. What about farm vehicles using Byways/BOATS. They
cause alot of damage but from what I've read they will be allowed to still use them.

"Ask that DEFRA look to downgrading Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATS) to Restricted Byways."

Why??.

I'm sorry but it's time that all users of the countryside learnt to get along with each other and
not bicker and **** each other off. As well as being a trial rider and 4x4er, I am also a keen
walker and yes I have had my share of 'moments' with motorised users, but I've also been shouted
(sorry haranged) by a fellow walker for "walking past me too fast" and "scaring me and my wife". I'm
sorry next time I'll sound a horn and follow you at a snails pace so as not to scare you. Right rant
over.....sorry if I've offended anyone but I do get quite emotional on this subject.

Dom J
 
P

Patrick Manuel

Guest
Dom,

I agree with your view entirely .

I am all for preventing illegal and irresponsible use of the RoW network but not by banning
legitimate users, which will have absolutely no effect on the minority hooligan element.

Also, are there any crags that are currently accessed by driving down a RUPP/BOAT? If vehicular
rights are removed this will impact on ALL users including climbers - not just 4x4 drivers and motor
cyclists. This could mean a longer walk-in/out and less time spent climbing. What about emergency
vehicle access? If vehicular rights of way are not used they will eventually become impassable.

Patrick

"Dom J" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> I've replyed to the proposals Re off roading, but in support of
responsible
> off roading. What follows are my replies to bits in the original post
from
> M Farthing.
>
> " Those who shout loudest get heard, and at the moment off-road motor vehicle users are engaged in
> a very vocal and intimidating"
>
> I've not heard of any intimidating stuff going on. Off road motor vehicle users are being vocal
> because if we aren't then we will lose access to the countryside.
>
> " tackling this damaging activity"
>
> So walking isn't a damaging activity then??. All users of the countryside contribute to damage
> caused in the countryside not just 4x4's etc etc.
What
> about farm vehicles using Byways/BOATS. They cause alot of damage but
from
> what I've read they will be allowed to still use them.
>
> "Ask that DEFRA look to downgrading Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATS) to Restricted Byways."
>
> Why??.
>
> I'm sorry but it's time that all users of the countryside learnt to get along with each other and
> not bicker and **** each other off. As well as being a trial rider and 4x4er, I am also a keen
> walker and yes I have had
my
> share of 'moments' with motorised users, but I've also been shouted (sorry haranged) by a fellow
> walker for "walking past me too fast" and "scaring
me
> and my wife". I'm sorry next time I'll sound a horn and follow you at a snails pace so as not to
> scare you. Right rant over.....sorry if I've offended anyone but I do get quite emotional on this
> subject.
>
> Dom J
>
 
S

Simon Caldwell

Guest
>Also, are there any crags that are currently accessed by driving down a RUPP/BOAT? If vehicular
>rights are removed this will impact on ALL users including climbers - not just 4x4 drivers and
>motor cyclists. This could mean a longer walk-in/out and less time spent climbing.

Another advantage I'd not thought of, crags without queues :)

>What about emergency vehicle access?

They can drive anywhere they need to AFAIK

>If vehicular rights of way are not used they will eventually become impassable.

Yeah, right.
 
B

Bob Hobden

Guest
"Michael > wrote in message ...
>
> Memo to Members and other supporters re off road vehicles DEADLINE FOR REPLIES 19TH MARCH
>
>
> * Write to Alun Michael (c/o DEFRA, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR) to support the
> consultation document proposals, and argue for tougher enforcement, and stronger controls.
>
> * If you want to submit a more detailed letter to Alun Michael at the above address and also to
> William Propert-Lewis, Countryside (Recreation and Landscape) Division 5, DEFRA, Zone 1/01, 2
> The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6EB (he is accepting responses to the consultation) you
> could focus on :-
>
> * Support the document, particularly the recognition by DEFRA of the problems off road vehicles
> cause in the countryside.
>
> * Say it does not go far enough or introduce additional controls. Argue for a review of Traffic
> Regulation Orders (TROs) so that they can be processed faster, cheaper and be more effective.
>
> * Argue for National Park Authorities to have the power to process and implement TROs in their own
> area, rather than having to approach the Highways Authority to get them to do it as at present.
>
> * Highlight the problems caused by the lack of enforcement of current legislation and TROs by the
> Police and that it is no good relying on the Police if they will not use their current powers to
> enforce the law.
>
> * Ask that DEFRA look to downgrading Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATS) to Restricted Byways.
>
> * Ask for stronger powers to restrict off road vehicles to be given to National Park Authorities
> and those responsible for managing Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
>
> * Include any examples you may have of conflicts between off road vehicles and other recreational
> users; damage to routes caused by off road vehicles, etc.
>

Well personally I think that is one of the most selfish letters I've ever read, basically it says "I
can enjoy my hobby but you shouldn't enjoy yours." Yes there are a few selfish mindless 4X4 drivers
but equally there are some pig ignorant walkers/ramblers, and I've met a few around the Surrey
Hills! Legislation won't make any difference anyway because these people patently ignore rules, it
would means law the abiding people stop but the villains will still continue. Happens with all
legislation. How much countryside is open to 4X4's, a very small percentage compared to what is
available to walkers, so why not live and let live. The responsible 4X4 clubs are actively engaged
in repair and maintenance of tracks and bridges etc , you can't carry the equipment/materials on
your back, and also take it upon themselves to remove burnt out stolen vehicles, clear trees and
encroaching scrub. I've heard of actual working parties being shouted at and abused by ramblers.

All those that use the countryside have to get along, we have to talk, we have to compromise.
Remember the phrase " divide and conquer" so who is trying to drive a wedge between groups
interested in countryside access? Who will gain from a closed countryside?

--
Regards Bob

Use a useful Screen Saver... http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/ and find intelligent life
amongst the stars
 
T

The Reid

Guest
Following up to Michael Farthing

>I am posting the forwarded letter below on behalf of and with permission from:

I cant help feeling its rather a shame we cant find a balance. I walk and drive in Spain quite a bit
and you find 4x4 on tracks "forestals" etc and walkers on the smaller paths. Both types of hobby
seem to be supportable there. What I find spoils my days walking are yobs on unsilenced bikes riding
illegally on footpaths. Is there no way we can find a place for the bloke in his Land River who
wants to bump over some rocks? If we cant it maybe because we have such a crowded (for the most
part) country.
--
Mike Reid "Art is the lie that reveals the truth" P.Picasso Walking, Wasdale, Thames path, London
etc "http://www.fellwalk.co.uk" <-- you can email [email protected] this site Spain, food and walking "http://www.fell-
walker.co.uk" <-- [email protected] all, it's a spamtrap
 
M

Michael Farthin

Guest
In message <[email protected]>, The Reid <[email protected]> writes
>Following up to Michael Farthing
>
>>I am posting the forwarded letter below on behalf of and with permission from:
>
>I cant help feeling its rather a shame we cant find a balance. I walk and drive in Spain quite a
>bit and you find 4x4 on tracks "forestals" etc and walkers on the smaller paths. Both types of
>hobby seem to be supportable there. What I find spoils my days walking are yobs on unsilenced bikes
>riding illegally on footpaths. Is there no way we can find a place for the bloke in his Land River
>who wants to bump over some rocks? If we cant it maybe because we have such a crowded (for the most
>part) country.

I don't think there was or is any intention behind the letter I forwarded to have all such use
banned. It was talking about downgrading BOATs where there is a problem: principally in National
Parks and AONBs. If we are not prepared to take action to preserve the essential qualities of these
areas then why bother having them?

--
Michael Farthing cyclades Software House
 
T

The Reid

Guest
Following up to Michael Farthing

>I don't think there was or is any intention behind the letter I forwarded to have all such use
>banned. It was talking about downgrading BOATs where there is a problem: principally in National
>Parks and AONBs. If we are not prepared to take action to preserve the essential qualities of these
>areas then why bother having them?

I wasn't really aiming my comments at any specific tracks. My impression is that there are very few
places a 4x4 enthusiast *can* drive in UK?
--
Mike Reid "Art is the lie that reveals the truth" P.Picasso Walking, Wasdale, Thames path, London
etc "http://www.fellwalk.co.uk" <-- you can email [email protected] this site Spain, food and walking "http://www.fell-
walker.co.uk" <-- [email protected] all, it's a spamtrap
 
N

Nick Hopton

Guest
In a recent message <[email protected]>, Bob Hobden
<[email protected]> wrote.

[...]
>All those that use the countryside have to get along, we have to talk, we have to compromise.
[...]

Wouldn't it be nice if we could? But honestly, Bob, you've seen the mess that 4WDs can make of
byways like The Ridgeway, even though there is an existing, agreed code of responsible use that is
supposed to apply there.

I've asked this before of 4WD enthusiasts and I'll ask it again of you. Why do your people have
to render the whole width of a byway impassible to walkers? I only need half a metre of path at
the edge to get through, why do the 4WD people have to destroy the surface of the whole width of
the byway?

>Remember the phrase " divide and conquer" so who is trying to drive a wedge between groups
>interested in countryside access? Who will gain from a closed countryside?

I don't think there is concerted effort by any organisation to set walker against 4WD-enthusiast
with the object of restricting access to the countryside for everyone. For myself, I can't see how
an idea like that could work.

We have to face it, I'm afraid, codes of responsible use, et cetera, just don't seem to work when it
comes to 4WD-enthuseasts. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the interests of walkers are
fundamentally incompatible with those of the 4WD-community. This being the case I don't think that
I, as a walker, have any option but to support moves to restrict the access of recreational vehicles
to byways.

I (sincerely) regret this, but there doesn't seem to be any other way, everything has been tried and
nothing works.

Regards, Nick.

--
Nick Hopton and Anne Hopton Caversham, Reading, England <[email protected]
 
D

Dom J

Guest
"Nick Hopton" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> We have to face it, I'm afraid, codes of responsible use, et cetera, just don't seem to work when
> it comes to 4WD-enthuseasts. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the interests of
> walkers are fundamentally incompatible with those of the 4WD-community. This being the case I
> don't think that I, as a walker, have any option but to support moves to restrict the access of
> recreational vehicles to byways.
>
> I (sincerely) regret this, but there doesn't seem to be any other way, everything has been tried
> and nothing works.
>
When it comes to codes of use for 4x4 and trial riders, all the people I have met have stuck to
their groups individual codes of conduct. I am not a member of any offroad club or the TRF(used
to) but do stick to the TRF's code of conduct. This is my choice. There are a minority of idiot
users out there who hare round the countryside causing probelms ie riding/driving on footpaths
etc, but alot of these are stolen vehicles etc. So if 4x4's/trailbikes are stopped from using
the RUPPS, will this stop the illeagle use?..........I don't think so somehow, it will just keep
on going and then who are the authorities going to blame??.

Dom J
 
P

Pat Bennett

Guest
On Tue, 2 Mar 2004 17:08:32 +0000, Nick Hopton <[email protected]>
wrote:

> In a recent message <[email protected]>, Bob Hobden
> <[email protected]> wrote.
>
> [...]
>> All those that use the countryside have to get along, we have to talk, we have to compromise.
> [...]
>
> Wouldn't it be nice if we could? But honestly, Bob, you've seen the mess that 4WDs can make of
> byways like The Ridgeway, even though there is an existing, agreed code of responsible use that is
> supposed to apply there.

Have you seen the mess that walkers have made of certain footpaths? I'm talking about erosion
primarily, but have you seen the mess in the form of litter that other people have made of lowland
footpaths? You are complaining about vandalism committed by certain people by means of a 4x4. Such
people will not be deterred by the re-designation of BOATs, just as vandals on trail bikes are not
deterred by the fact that it is illegal to ride on footpaths. Why penalise responsible users of 4x4s
who do abide by the code of conduct? They have precious little access to the countryside as it is,
compared to walkers.

> I've asked this before of 4WD enthusiasts and I'll ask it again of you. Why do your people have
> to render the whole width of a byway impassible to walkers? I only need half a metre of path at
> the edge to get through, why do the 4WD people have to destroy the surface of the whole width of
> the byway?

When I drive my landrover along a BOAT, my tires are probably using less than half a metre width in
total. I do not destroy the surface, because I would not drive along a BOAT which was in such a
condition that I would damage it. If a byway has been made impassable to walkers, it is very likely
impassable to 4x4s - the most usual culprit is agricultural vehicles, as they are the only ones with
wheels deep enough to make the ruts which I have often seen blamed on 4x4s.

>> Remember the phrase " divide and conquer" so who is trying to drive a wedge between groups
>> interested in countryside access? Who will gain from a closed countryside?
>
> I don't think there is concerted effort by any organisation to set walker against 4WD-enthusiast
> with the object of restricting access to the countryside for everyone. For myself, I can't see how
> an idea like that could work.

You are probably right, but I think that the point Bob is making is that people who want access to
the countryside ought to stick together, because there are people about who would like to restrict
access - for all of us.

> We have to face it, I'm afraid, codes of responsible use, et cetera, just don't seem to work when
> it comes to 4WD-enthuseasts. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the interests of
> walkers are fundamentally incompatible with those of the 4WD-community. This being the case I
> don't think that I, as a walker, have any option but to support moves to restrict the access of
> recreational vehicles to byways.

This is untrue. When I walked the Pyg track up Snowden, I saw no 4x4s, or even trail bikes,
overtaking me. When I climbed Pen yr Helgi Dhu last weekend, there was neither sight or sound of
anything motorised. The same applies to the great majority of footpaths which are available to us
walkers, but the byways which are open to 4x4 owners are few and far between.

My wife loves the mountains as much as me, but since her lungs have been affected by illness, she
can no longer climb them. There are a few places where we can drive up into the hills, so that she
can still walk in places that other people can take for granted. Why should she have her present
rights taken away because you and fellow campaigners want the exclusive use of the nation's byways?

> I (sincerely) regret this, but there doesn't seem to be any other way, everything has been tried
> and nothing works.

Yes, there is - don't be so selfish with regard to law-abiding, code-of-conduct-abiding folk like me
and Bob, and try to work out how you cope with the vandals that don't give a damn about laws or
codes of conduct.

Pat

--
Pat Bennett www.cheshirewildlife.co.uk
 
B

Bob Hobden

Guest
"Nick Hopton" wrote in message after me>
> [...]
> >All those that use the countryside have to get along, we have to talk, we have to compromise.
> [...]
>
> Wouldn't it be nice if we could? But honestly, Bob, you've seen the mess that 4WDs can make of
> byways like The Ridgeway, even though there is an existing, agreed code of responsible use that is
> supposed to apply there.
>
> I've asked this before of 4WD enthusiasts and I'll ask it again of you. Why do your people have
> to render the whole width of a byway impassible to walkers? I only need half a metre of path at
> the edge to get through, why do the 4WD people have to destroy the surface of the whole width of
> the byway?

The same goes for horses down this way! (I'm not an offroad 4X4 byways driver BTW, well only in a
muddy field where I grow things)
>
> >Remember the phrase " divide and conquer" so who is trying to drive a
wedge
> >between groups interested in countryside access? Who will gain from a
closed
> >countryside?
>
> I don't think there is concerted effort by any organisation to set walker against 4WD-enthusiast
> with the object of restricting access to the countryside for everyone. For myself, I can't see how
> an idea like that could work.

The same way the Anti-bloodsports people are succeeding with those, first Badger baiting then Hare
Coursing then Fox hunting then Fishing it's a system that works. Start with the most extreem and by
the time you get to the bits that aren't much of a problem they are all tarred with the same brush.

>
> We have to face it, I'm afraid, codes of responsible use, et cetera, just don't seem to work when
> it comes to 4WD-enthuseasts. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the interests of
> walkers are fundamentally incompatible with those of the 4WD-community. This being the case I
> don't think that I, as a walker, have any option but to support moves to restrict the access of
> recreational vehicles to byways.

But they only have access to a tiny proportion of "muddy tracks" anyway so why can't we just walk on
the bits already restricted for our use alone, well including bridleways?

--
Regards Bob

Use a useful Screen Saver... http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/ and find intelligent life
amongst the stars
 
P

Peter Browning

Guest
Nick Hopton <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> In a recent message <[email protected]>, Bob Hobden
> <[email protected]> wrote.
>
> [...]
> >All those that use the countryside have to get along, we have to talk, we have to compromise.
> [...]
>
> Wouldn't it be nice if we could? But honestly, Bob, you've seen the mess that 4WDs can make of
> byways like The Ridgeway, even though there is an existing, agreed code of responsible use that is
> supposed to apply there.
>
> I've asked this before of 4WD enthusiasts and I'll ask it again of you. Why do your people have
> to render the whole width of a byway impassible to walkers? I only need half a metre of path at
> the edge to get through, why do the 4WD people have to destroy the surface of the whole width of
> the byway?

You will find that if a BOAT has been damaged to that extent then it is almost certainly due to
agricultural or forestry vehicles. The maximum depth of rut that a 4x4 can make is 9 inches; most of
the rutted sections I have seen have ruts up to 2 feet deep - no way this is 4x4 damage!

I am a keen walker (as well as an occasional mountain-biker and 4x4 driver) and I have to say that I
NEVER even meet a vehicle when I go walking. I stick to footpaths and bridleways which are 95%+ of
the network anyway.

>
> >Remember the phrase " divide and conquer" so who is trying to drive a wedge between groups
> >interested in countryside access? Who will gain from a closed countryside?
>
> I don't think there is concerted effort by any organisation to set walker against 4WD-enthusiast
> with the object of restricting access to the countryside for everyone. For myself, I can't see how
> an idea like that could work.

Easy - 4x4 RoW users are the smallest minority (about 2%). They are also easy targets to whip up
emotive hatred about. So, step 1, remove vehicles. OK, who is next - horse riders (about 4% of RoW
users). Horses can scare walkers so lets have a go at them next. OK, next - mountain bikers......
etc. Divide and conquer works well believe it. We should all be pulling together!

>
> We have to face it, I'm afraid, codes of responsible use, et cetera, just don't seem to work when
> it comes to 4WD-enthuseasts. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the interests of
> walkers are fundamentally incompatible with those of the 4WD-community. This being the case I
> don't think that I, as a walker, have any option but to support moves to restrict the access of
> recreational vehicles to byways.

You are insulting 4x4 drivers here as much as you would be insulted if I said that all ramblers are
litter scattering, path eroding morons. The vast majority of those who drive 4x4's on RoW's do so
legally and responsibly; I know, I am one of them. The trouble is caused as always by the lawless
minority and you will not exclude them whatever laws are passed. All you will achieve is to remove
the responsible users who also by-the-way make a major contribution to keeping the byways clear and
passable by all and leave the louts a clear field.

Neither will you stop agri use - once the 4x4's are banned you will see that most of the damage
still occurs and most of the lanes that the farmers don't need become rapidly overgrown and
impassable. The local councils will not clear them that's for sure. By then of course it will be too
late to do anything about it.

>
> I (sincerely) regret this, but there doesn't seem to be any other way, everything has been tried
> and nothing works.

What about live and let live - that has not been tried (I can feel the heat from the flames
already!). Vehicles only have access to at most 5% of the RoW network and they have to share that.
Why don't walkers (like me) stick to paths and bridleways (like I do) and leave the BOAT's to the
cars and bikes. It's the attitude that I take and I do not feel in any way restricted as to where
I can walk.

Walkers already have 100% of the network (95% exclusively) so why do they want exclusive rights to
the remaining 5%???

Peter

>
> Regards, Nick.
 
P

Peter Browning

Guest
"Bernie Hughes" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> "The Reid" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
> > My impression is that there are very few places a 4x4 enthusiast *can* drive in UK?
>
> On roads?

Maybe ramblers should stick to city pavements, or maybe a circular route round the local Tesco car
park? :) Then we can avoid damage to footpaths in the Lake District and Snowdonia. The National
Parks would be very peaceful then!

Peter
 
B

Bob Hobden

Guest
Neil wrote> >
>
> As a walker, when able, I'd encountered 4x4's, road legal and driven quietly, now unable, I
> drive one,

Yes, that is something these "anti's" should think about, how will they still be able to access the
hills etc when they are infirm. It happens to all of us. Exchange your Zamberlans for a Defender 90
and you can still meet your friends out in the wilds for that picnic etc. Mind you, you will only
have access to about 2% of the system.

> Several areas of the Ridgeway have been chewed up by tractors, a land-rover has 12 inches of
> clearance under the axle, the ruts are 20 inches plus deep, looking at the damage in one section
> between field entrances, with no damage either side is very telling...

This has been said before but goes in one ear and out the other, any rut over 12 inches deep is not
caused by a 4x4. If you don't believe me then get in contact with your local offroading Landrover
club and go for a ride or simply measure the distance between the axle and the road if you find one
parked. Of course the farmers aren't going to put their hands up to it, it would cost them, and some
want all access to the countryside stopped anyway.

For those walkers etc that don't believe 4x4 drivers can be responsible users of green lanes take a
look at.... http://www.glass-uk.org/index.html

--
Regards Bob

Use a useful Screen Saver... http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/ and find intelligent life
amongst the stars
 
R

Richard Webb

Guest
"I've not heard of any intimidating stuff going on. Off road motor vehicle users are being vocal
because if we aren't then we will lose access to the countryside."

No you will not... Welded to your Tonka Toy are you?

Richard Webb
 
N

Nick Hopton

Guest
In a recent message <[email protected]>, Bob Hobden
<[email protected]> wrote.

[...]
>> I've asked this before of 4WD enthusiasts and I'll ask it again of you. Why do your people have
>> to render the whole width of a byway impassible to walkers? I only need half a metre of path at
>> the edge to get through, why do the 4WD people have to destroy the surface of the whole width of
>> the byway?

>The same goes for horses down this way! (I'm not an offroad 4X4 byways driver BTW, well only in a
>muddy field where I grow things)

Well, I'll admit that my experience is limited, but even on the quite narrow bridle ways that lead
up onto the Downs from Lambourn I've never had trouble getting through. These paths are used by
hundreds of riders every day, including during wet weather.

[...]
>> I don't think there is concerted effort by any organisation to set walker against 4WD-enthusiast
>> with the object of restricting access to the countryside for everyone. For myself, I can't see
>> how an idea like that could work.
>
>The same way the Anti-bloodsports people are succeeding with those, first Badger baiting then Hare
>Coursing then Fox hunting then Fishing it's a system that works. Start with the most extreem and by
>the time you get to the bits that aren't much of a problem they are all tarred with the same brush.

I don't think that this argument stacks up. I know that the pro-hunting folk are trying to enlist
the support of the fishermen by claiming that fishing will be next, but the politicians will never
be able to raise a quorum to ban fishing in the foreseeable future. It might be unfair, but fishing
doesn't put peoples' backs up in the way that hunting does. I don't have strong views on hunting,
but I do believe in the will of the people.

[...]
>> We have to face it, I'm afraid, codes of responsible use, et cetera, just don't seem to work when
>> it comes to 4WD-enthuseasts. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the interests of
>> walkers are fundamentally incompatible with those of the 4WD-community. This being the case I
>> don't think that I, as a walker, have any option but to support moves to restrict the access of
>> recreational vehicles to byways.
>
>But they only have access to a tiny proportion of "muddy tracks" anyway so why can't we just walk
>on the bits already restricted for our use alone, well including bridleways?
[...]

As a walker I'm bound to disagree with you on this (when you're wearing your 4WD-hat, anyway). I do
believe that ancient national trails like the Ridgeway are special in ways that can't be appreciated
from inside of a vehicle.

I work around quarries and I do appreciate that pushing 4WDs to the limit on difficult ground can be
fun, so far I've managed to wreck an UMM and a Frontera. BTW, we're looking for an MOT-failed diesel
Land River at the moment, if you happen to know of one going cheap.

Regards, Nick.

--
Nick Hopton and Anne Hopton Caversham, Reading, England <[email protected]
 
N

Nick Hopton

Guest
In a recent message <[email protected]>, Peter Browning <[email protected]
networks.com> wrote.

[...]
>You will find that if a BOAT has been damaged to that extent then it is almost certainly due to
>agricultural or forestry vehicles. The maximum depth of rut that a 4x4 can make is 9 inches; most
>of the rutted sections I have seen have ruts up to 2 feet deep - no way this is 4x4 damage!
[...]

I mentioned in another part of this thread that regularly I drive 4WDs off-road. Thus, I know the
sort of rutting that can 4WDs can cause, at first hand. The mechanism that underlies rutting is far
more complicated than you suggest.

[...]
>> I don't think there is concerted effort by any organisation to set walker against 4WD-enthusiast
>> with the object of restricting access to the countryside for everyone. For myself, I can't see
>> how an idea like that could work.

>Easy - 4x4 RoW users are the smallest minority (about 2%). They are also easy targets to whip up
>emotive hatred about. So, step 1, remove vehicles. OK, who is next - horse riders (about 4% of RoW
>users). Horses can scare walkers so lets have a go at them next. OK, next - mountain bikers......
>etc. Divide and conquer works well believe it. We should all be pulling together!

But the all pulling together approach has been tried. It doesn't work.

>> We have to face it, I'm afraid, codes of responsible use, et cetera, just don't seem to work when
>> it comes to 4WD-enthuseasts. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the interests of
>> walkers are fundamentally incompatible with those of the 4WD-community. This being the case I
>> don't think that I, as a walker, have any option but to support moves to restrict the access of
>> recreational vehicles to byways.

[...]
>You are insulting 4x4 drivers here as much as you would be insulted if I said that all ramblers are
>litter scattering, path eroding morons. The vast majority of those who drive 4x4's on RoW's do so
>legally and responsibly; I know, I am one of them. The trouble is caused as always by the lawless
>minority and you will not exclude them whatever laws are passed. All you will achieve is to remove
>the responsible users who also by-the-way make a major contribution to keeping the byways clear and
>passable by all and leave the louts a clear field.
[...]

If I managed to insult the 4WD community then I apologise, that was not my intention. Look, a few
years ago a group of interested parties including members of the 4WD lobby got together to agree a
code of responsible practice for the Ridgeway. It hasn't worked, so something else must be tried.

>Neither will you stop agri use - once the 4x4's are banned you will see that most of the damage
>still occurs and most of the lanes that the farmers don't need become rapidly overgrown and
>impassable. The local councils will not clear them that's for sure. By then of course it will be
>too late to do anything about it.

I don't agree that the damage I see when I go walking is caused predominantly by agricultural
vehicles and machines.

>What about live and let live - that has not been tried (I can feel the heat from the flames
>already!).
[...]

Flame? Not from me, you won't. Live-and-let-live is what we have now, it doesn't work. For what its
worth, I think that the 4WD lobby is doing itself no favours by arguing that 4WDs don't cause
significant damage to the surface of byways, it is denying the undeniable. Perhaps the cause would
be better served by making concrete proposals about the way that 4WDs and walkers can co-exist (and
not just by telling walkers to p*ss off and go somewhere else, either).

Regards, Nick.

--
Nick Hopton and Anne Hopton Caversham, Reading, England <[email protected]