'4x4' restrictions on rural tracks

Contributed by editor on Jan 20, 2005 - 06:03 PM


Motorcycles, quad bikes and four-wheel drive vehicles will have their access to public rights of way restricted under new legislation.

Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael confirmed today that the Government would be responding to widespread concern about the damage to ancient, and often fragile, tracks.

He said that it was not right that 4x4 vehicles, for example, should be allowed to use a pathway just because horse drawn vehicles once used the route.

There is a place in the countryside for all users of rights of way, he said, whether on foot or on four wheels, but the use must be 'responsible, sustainable and appropriate.'

Mr Michael added: "We need a rights of way network that responds to the needs of the 21st century, not a network based solely on historic use patterns.

"The pressures of modern day use are very different to those a hundred or more years ago and new legislation is needed to reflect these changes."

The Minister confirmed that he wants the measures to become law as soon as a legislative opportunity becomes available.