bikers and green lanes

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  • bikers and green lanes
  • taka
    Member

    why do a lot of cyclists not like 4×4’s driving where they have just as much rights to be there as any cyclists? I was driving in the dales today on a by way open to all traffic, when a biker came and had a rant about how we shouldn’t be there and its a bridleway and he was calling the police to meet us at the other end it turned out he was just an ignorant **** who liked the tracks to him self as it was clearly sign posted as a byway open to all traffic I’m glad we just kept our cool and ignored him as he was bait out numbered if he kicked off

    dan1980
    Member

    My objection to them is more to do with “green lane-ers” not using green lanes and destroying other parts of the countryside that they shouldn’t be in.

    That frustration then boils over onto those using the legitimate lanes. It’s not big and cleaver, and I don’t like myself for it, but I don’t seem to be able to help myself.

    I have similar issues to mountain bikers using “Cheeky trails” but then I’m a bit anal about sticking to “rules” in general….

    taka
    Member

    it just annoys me when people bikers seem to think they own trails they regularly use and anyone else is trespassing on there turf 🙄 then have the cheek to threaten to involve the authorities when you’ve done nothing wrong

    mrmo
    Member

    it just annoys me when people bikers seem to think they own trails they regularly use and anyone else is trespassing on there turf then have the cheek to threaten to involve the authorities when you’ve done nothing wrong

    I think part of the problem is the damage that 4x4s and MXers can do, if the ground is in the slightest bit soft it gets ripped apart to the point it becomes unusable by everyone.

    pastcaring
    Member

    thats why i like to ride footpaths 😈

    Shorty121
    Member

    I don’t mind them using the same trails as me aslong as they don’t rip it up as much as they do. Also the motorbikes put loud exhausts on for no reason…

    yodagoat
    Member

    Haven ridden both pushbikes and motorbikes off road I find the worst thing for making a mess of a trail is a horse. And it leaves shite everywhere too.
    Loud pipes save lives.

    taka
    Member

    supposedly motorbikes dont do as much damage as a car but they go everywhere to try make it more challenging which means they go off the track onto the verges ripping the fresh grass up where as in a 4×4 you don’t have as much freedom to move about although there are some idiots who go tearing off looking for mud to get stuck in and just purposely make a mess

    Taff
    Member

    Don’t mind them using green lanes as they’re allowed. Don’t like them going off road in undesgnated areas but I ride undesignated areas too so pot kettle and all that.

    taka
    Member

    horses are a nuisance around here on soft moorland where they sink into the mud making ankle braking sized holes… and the people riding them (mainly women) can’t keep control of them when they get giddy around bikes and its always your fault

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    Same as some greenlaners act like fools some bikers do too. We sadly only remember the bad ones.

    Premier Icon convert
    Subscriber

    Around my way there are far more BOATs than bridleways. It’s also an area due to the geographical make-up that gets very very muddy. Due to the number of boats and the “challenging” conditions we get lots of groups of bikes and 4x4s come to the area at the weekends.

    The reason I’ve come to dislike them is that they turn local byways open to all traffic into byways passable only by motorised vehicles and those travelling by foot, horse or push bike have to find alternative routes as they are so churned up. And as I said earlier we don’t do many bridleways so legal mtb riding gets pretty thin on the ground.

    I respect that the law allows them to be there (although there are plenty of boats around here with bans on motorised vehicles from November to March which seem to be frequently still used in the winter) but modern vehicles do seem a little large, heavy and powerful to do the long term health of these fragile old byways much good.

    I am aware of the irony of mountain bikers complaining about other users doing damage and it does remind me how I might be viewed by others further down the off road food chain 😉

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    mrmo
    I think part of the problem is the damage that 4x4s and MXers can do, if the ground is in the slightest bit soft it gets ripped apart to the point it becomes unusable by everyone

    That’s exactly what the walkers say about us mountain bikers. A lot of the green lanes around Surrey are close to unrideable in the winter, I have to say increasingly I am seeing them closed off to motorised traffic over the winter via by-laws

    It’s about picking your routes, being considerate and playing by the rules.

    ChrisE
    Member

    Where to start……..

    The Dales has had a lot of damage to green lanes from recreational vehicles which became ‘exponential’ in the late 1990s and beyond due to a discovery of the opportunities by many. This was curbed to a large extent in 2006 by the NERC Act which effectively stopped any new public rights of way for recreational vehicles being recorded in England and Wales. There are however still Byways Open to All Traffic (BOATs) that carry rights and UCRs that although not carrying recorded rights, were exempt from NERC so a prosecution for driving on them is unlikely as rights might (beyond reasonable doubt) exist.

    Recreational vehicles (unlike pedal cycles (bikes)), have never had a right created on such green lanes – the rights were for wheeled horse-drawn-carts so as time went by, carts were replaced by cars and motor bikes then suddenly they were ‘discovered’ as a recreational resource for drivers and so the horse/cart ‘loophole’ exploited. Bikes however are a different matter. In the 1960’s legislation was introduced to expressly allow them on bridleways and BOATs. You therefore cannot equate the rights of motors to be on green lanes with the rights of walkers, cyclists and horses.

    Recreational vehicle drivers argue they have a legal right to be there (which they have with the loophole) however eventually that will be closed as the majority of people think it is inappropriate (ICM poll). If you look back at how the UK has cleaned up it’s act, the environment and general wellbeing you cannot see that the improvement made over the last 25 years will not be continued over the next 25. For example it is very difficult (I would say impossible) to argue that driving recreational motors ‘for fun’ on green lanes in a National Park is in line with the special (statutory) purposes of the Park. That when the drivers could just as well ‘enjoy’ the lanes on foot, cycle, horse or disabled (special) vehicle.

    Recreational vehicle users often quote that walkers don’t like cyclists however that’s not really arguing a good point for vehicles! It is playground arguing and shows there is no real positive argument that sets out why allowing recreational motor vehicles on green lanes is a good thing.

    I live and was brought up in the Yorkshire Dales, ride my bike on the green lanes there every week and have seen the relentless degradation of the unique resource that is our green lanes which is why I support management of the routes and have joined GLEAM-uk.org to press fro green lanes to be free from recreational motor vehicles.

    C

    bigyinn
    Member

    It does seem that 4×4’s in general do cause an inordinate amount of damage.
    The Tennyson Trail which runs along the spine of the Isle of Wight was quite popular about 10 years ago with the 4×4 set 1and was closed to the majority of 4×4’s around 3 or 4 years ago. Only now has it stabilised and returned to what it was previously. Some of the more fragile / softer parts where like swamps even in the summer.
    A more pragmatic approach needs to be taken to where people ride. This applies to bikes/ horses / 4x4s. I see a lots of trails ripped up by horses over the winter and in the summer they are a lumpy nightmare. Most of the bike riders I know tend to avoid the softer stuff in winter to prevent trail damage. Horse riders less so, especially the steeper stuff, all you end up with are loads of churned up steps down the hillsides.

    scu98rkr
    Member

    I obviously want everybody to be able to enjoy the countryside.

    But the rights of way system is rubbish.

    It needs to be based on what is sustainable.

    Plenty of green lanes are not capable of supporting 4×4 without destroying the surface for other users.

    There are attempts to try and make green lanes sustainable for 4×4 but surely this is closing the door after the horse has bolted.

    Ie the lane should be capable of supporting a 4×4 and hence its a green lane/boat not the other way round.

    The whole ROW system needs to be updated all routes should be reclassified mainly based on sustainability but also on suitability.

    Im my opinion many of the bridleways in the Chilterns arent suitable for horse riders in the Winter and should just be open for 9 months of the year.

    Also many footpaths can quite often be wide open and almost be roads these should clearly be open to MTBers and horse riders.

    And clearly there needs to be separate categories for bikes, powered bikes and powered 4 wheel vehicles.

    With bikes total weight of bike + rider 100 – 150kg being treated very differently from horse + rider 380 to 550 kilograms + 70kg rider.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber
    Klunk
    Member

    a long time ago i used to work on a farm with several byways, we were encouraged by the owner/farmer to cut up the byways as much as possible at the start and ends to quote “keep the riff raff out”. you can do a lot of damage in a tractor.

    pickle
    Member

    they don’t bother me much to be honest, the only thing i don’t like is the noise….as it scares the crap out of me and i have visions of being ran over by some massive Dakar rally type bike

    Bruce
    Member

    I don’t think that you can generalize I have seem some Landrover drivers and offroad motorcyclists who drive with great care and consideration for the track they use, I have also seen others who are incapable going anywhere without ripping the track to shreads.

    ChrisE
    Member

    You are very right. You cannot generalise which is why the law cannot allow ‘just a few 4x4s’ or ‘just the slow trail bikes’. It would be like having a drink drive law that allows ‘only the ones who can hold their drink’!!

    C

    Sancho
    Member

    Kayak

    whats the biggest damage to snowdon?
    1 4×4
    or a **** massive railway carved and blasted out of the rock and bridges built and just a total massive eyesore to take a few sightseers up a Mountain.

    Irony?

    ChrisE
    Member

    Sancho, I am sure you are right. If applied for in 2012 Snowdonia NP would never ever allow an application to build a railway up Snowdon.

    I am confident that the next move will be legaslation to ban recreational motoring on all unsurfaced tracks in National Parks because of the special qualities of the Parks.

    C

    Daisy_Duke
    Member

    as 4×4 and trail bike user use BOATS and RUPP’s, then these are under the control of the local authority. If there is a problem with drainage, or the lane being water logged in winter, then its the local authorities duty to repair or make good the trail.
    As a trail bike rider of some years, I’ve come up against many a snotty walker/mtb’er giving me their thoughts about my mode of transport, even when on perfectly legal right of way. If walkers/mtber’s don’t like seeing other users on lanes, go walk/ride on a footpath or bridleway away from motorised vehicles. Otherwise learn to share.

    Premier Icon Tiger6791
    Subscriber

    I don’t drive on Greenlanes, done it once and it’s not for me, I like my bike.

    At the end of the day though 4x4s and MX bikes have very few rights of way left. Live and let live really. If you don’t like them go elsewhere

    Some of the responsible Green land chaps do a lot to maintain and fix stuff. It’s not all knob heads

    ChrisE
    Member

    Hi Daisy D,

    RUPPs do no longer exist, they were all converted en-masse on 1 May 2006 to be Restricted Byways and hence only have public rights to walk, cycle, horse ride and horse drawn cart.

    Mantainance is not the job of the Local Authority. It is that of the Highway Authority if the way is mentained at public expense, or the land owner if it not. Here in the Yorkshire Dales many ways have public rights (to use) but are privatly mentainable. Notwithstanding that, mentain, mentain, mentain is not the answer. Routes across open moor and country that were designed in 1700 for carts should not be made into motorways just so some bloke in a massive 4×4 can indulge and show off his manlyness

    C

    Daisy_Duke
    Member

    if motorised users have a legal right of way, then they are at liberty to use them. Many lanes weren’t designed for cyclists, but we are lucky enough to use them. The ROW legislation is all to cock in this country, but we need to learn to use our countryside along with others.
    Now I don’t live in Yorkshire dales, but here in North Wales, our local TRF have spent hours opening unused lanes which would otherwise disappear. The majority of lanes we used to ride on are unsuitable to walkers cyclists are they are overgrown. I’m not going to feel guilty for riding legal byways, because it may offend someone how knows little about the legal ROW system.
    http://i1100.photobucket.com/albums/g407/amesbub/P1010119.jpg

    dobiejessmo
    Member

    In all this people forget about mother nature and farm vehicles.
    Problem with alot of mtbikers these days they have never been in the countryside till they got a bike.I have greenlaned for years never had a problem with farmers or landowners have had some nice chats.Only problem i have is with walkers and cyclist.Funny that.I get more hassle on a mountain bike to be honest.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    wrote:

    Kayak

    whats the biggest damage to snowdon?
    1 4×4
    or a **** massive railway carved and blasted out of the rock and bridges built and just a total massive eyesore to take a few sightseers up a Mountain.

    Irony?

    I see your point, however, that damage is at least minimal and controlled now to some extent, its not going to get worse really is it.
    Allowing 4×4’ers access to places like that would undoubtedly only leave the area in the kind of ‘Battle-of-the-Somme’ type conditions that I encounter on bridleways all too frequently.
    I have little sympathy with 4×4 enthusiasts. Perhaps an island should be provided where they can all go and winch themselves out of puddles, and maybe stick the jet-skiers there too… 😮

    bigyinn
    Member

    Not on MY island i hope!

    Allowing 4×4’ers access to places like that would undoubtedly only leave the area in the kind of ‘Battle-of-the-Somme’ type conditions that I encounter on bridleways all too frequently.

    Unlikely, there’s nothing resembling soil on Snowdon really.

    ChrisE
    Member

    Daisy D,

    You say that if motorised users have a legal right to use a RoW then they should. Again that is only an anomaly and a ‘loophole’ which needs closing. Remember these RoW have been handed down to us solely because they were once cart tracks.

    As for the TRF clearing tracks, they might not be as do-goody as you think. They repair only a fraction of the damage that they make as a nation and they would only open up a lane so they can ride motorbikes up and down it. I would have some respect for them if they cleared a lane then just walked up and down. Also they might clear a track ( and remember it’s a tiny amount of clearing that is done) then trash it riding up and own.

    And I’m not sure how they repair the damaage to the peace and tranquilllity, or that made by buring oil etc

    C

    gusamc
    Member

    some facts

    see: http://archive.defra.gov.uk/rural/countryside/prow/about.htm

    Figures for England
    Total public righs of way (kilometeres) – 188,700 kilometres
    BOATs – 3,700 km

    Chris E, you’re not really prepared to share are you ?

    Regarding maintenance –
    “County Council responsibilities
    Ensure the Definitive Map and Statement are kept up to date
    Signposting all rights of way where they leave a metalled road and providing additional signs and waymarks where necessary
    Keeping the surface of rights of way in good repair and managing natural surface growth, including field headlands
    Ensuring that farmers comply with the law that paths over cultivated land are properly restored after they have been disturbed and remain apparent on the ground thereafter
    Prevent the closure or obstruction of any highway
    Ensure maintenance of existing bridges and culverts and installation of new ones
    Provide a 25% grant to landowners for repair or improvement of structures
    Administer the Parish Paths Partnership scheme”

    it looks to me as if the landowner does not maintain BOATS (they do stiles and gates).

    Regarding the Yorkshire Dales national park:
    Total ROW length(km) = 2178 + 1879 = 4047, BOATS (total) = 46km, so it must cost a bleeding fortune to keep that open.

    Premier Icon talltom
    Subscriber

    chris e – get off your bloody high horse.

    spent an awful lot of time fighting the prejudiced views of your parish councillors etc re; the definitive map. the country side is there to be used and enjoyed by all as long as it is done in a legal and responible manner.

    Farmers are as guilty as any other user especially the hilltop occupiers in their unimogs and fasttracks! horseriders in he wrong conditions and the thousands of walkers!!

    same with any discipline – you get idiots and tossers, as trailriders in the dales the biggest problem was MXrs coming in vans on unregistered bikes treating all the lanes like a race track – twice I put my own bike in the way of some lads from the northeast and told them to bugger off.

    IMHO Chris your not the voice of all dales residents – Mr Wilkinson from the garage in Kettlewell will help you with some other view points.

    Last time I was riding in the dales on my MTB I was riding from Arncliffe to Street gate – came across 3 lads on 250’s coming down (naughty I know!) I had a chat with them at a gate pointed out their error and they thanked me and said they’d cross it off the list. TBH I was making a bigger rut with my 2.1 then they were – no visible damage at all.

    sorry – ROW issues get my bloody goat – ALL types!!

    Premier Icon Tiger6791
    Subscriber

    Look out for the NIMBY Nazis, you’ll only be allowed on a ROW if you own the land or wear red socks

    First they came for the 4x4s,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a 4×4 enthusiast.

    Then they came for the MX ‘ers,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a MX er.

    Then they came for the Horseriders,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Horse. 😯

    Then they came for Mountain Bikes
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    Live and let live, they don’t have much to play on

    and I claim Goodwin

    Premier Icon talltom
    Subscriber

    +1 Tiger

    I remember dealing with the nimbys during the definitive map debacle

    Only time I can think of when horsey types, mtb’rs and trailriders fought against a common ‘foe’

    They were enlightened enough to see the powers that the new act enabled and the possible problems that could be caused for all users other then your wooly hat brigade!!

    Dickyboy
    Member

    + 1 Tiger & Talltom

    Live & let live I say, not ridden a motorbike off road for prob 25 years & never driven 4 x 4 but if thats what folk wanna do then let them, so few legal routes now that to restrict them even further is just being plain mean.

    An old route near us, must have been some sort of byway if not bridleway in the past, now partially tarmac to get to a house & the owner goes crazy if you so much as push a bicycle along it

    Premier Icon FOG
    Subscriber

    ChrisEe’s comments about ‘a loophole’ allowing motor vehicles on green lanes is a real red herring. Of course RoWs originated with horse and carts, they all did whether tarmacked eventually or not. When motor transport took over they still used unsurfaced RoWs obviously mainly in country areas. So at what point does motor transport become offensive? It seems when it becomes recreational, which seems illogical.

    antigee
    Member

    live and let live

    seems to equal “put up and shut up”

    in many areas the noise and aggression shown by the majority of greenlaners is simply in the wrong place even when the activity is legal, majority because its the minority that are quiet(er) and give way to other users

    as to the mtb’s will be next argument – the distinction is simple – no motor = no noise and not a lot more erosion than walkers or horses

    this could become a self fulfilling prophecy for those that have the attitudes of the offroaders and choose to align with them – rather than look to what the Ramblers Association and CROW have achieved for walkers

    Ruts. They are a pain in the a***.

    I obviously want everybody to be able to enjoy the countryside.

    But the rights of way system is rubbish.

    It needs to be based on what is sustainable.

    Halleluja!

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