Launched jointly between GLASS and the TRF, the petition comes as a result of a prolonged policy of closing green lanes to motorized vehicles within the Peak District.
Mike Irvine, communications director at the TRF, said ‘There are only about 30 miles of unsurfaced green lane roads still open to motor vehicles in the Park, and there is a large network of footpaths, bridleways and restricted byways that are open to all who do not wish to encounter motor vehicles, yet the PDNPA’s policy is to drive us out of the park altogether.’
The petition emphasizes that green lanes within the Park have been used by motor vehicles since 1910, before the National Parks and Countryside Act came into force in 1949, and urges the Authority to be ‘inclusive and democratic in their decision making’.
Supporters of the petition are citing diverse reasons for signing. Leigh Ward from Leicester said ‘Historical rights of way are being lost and then becoming overgrown and unpoliced, resulting in loss to all user groups over a short period of time.’
Many signers also cite limited mobility as a key motivation for signing. Rich Torkington from Stockport writes: ‘I have used green lanes for more than 30 years. I have a small motor cycle that is my only independence, the only way I can get in to the countryside because I can not walk very easily. Any TROs would exclude me from visiting the National Parks for no other reason than the spiteful attitude of some other users.’