Trail riding will be severly curbed following the introduction of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill.
The new law bans all recreational vehicles from all rights-of-way (RoW) not already recorded on the definitive map as Byway Open to all Traffic (BOAT). It also gives National park Authorities the power to impose Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) on byways in National Parks.
The Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF) argue that the remaining trails are too far and few between to be linked to make a day trip, and bikes and 4x4 vehicles are now forced to drive up and down the same routes, leading to more overuse and closures.
With only five per cent of trails open to vehicles in the first place, the TRF see an expansion in illegal riders.
"The TRF worked cloesly with the Government and Defra at all stages of the consultation and drafting process of this legislation. Despite assurances that the interests of legal trail riders would not be unduly prejudiced, the Govt has sen fit to betray the trust of the TRF by its dishonesty, misrepresentation and lack of integrity. This despite the government's own research paid for by tax payers that vindicated the TRF position. The TRF will now, in light of Government behaviour, review their policy of cooperation."
For more on the Trail riders Fellowship, click here. (external link)