Motorcyclists challenge ‘green lane’ closure

Posted: 13th November 2012

The decision to close a ‘green lane’ in the Peak District to motorised vehicles is under challenge at the High Court by a campaign group that fights to preserve ancient routes for motorcyclists to explore. The Trail Riders Fellowship is asking the court to quash an experimental traffic regulation order (ETRO) issued by the Peak District National Park Authority that closed a route known as Chapel Gate to mechanically powered vehicles for 18 months.

Country pathChapel Gate is designated as a Byway Open to All Traffic (BOAT) which starts in Chapel-en-le-Frith and terminates near Barber Booth, Edale. The Authority made the ETRO because of the poor state of repair of the route and concerns that its use by mechanically-propelled vehicles was unsustainable.

It decided to close the route to vehicles on an experimental basis to assess the effect of the order on the condition of the route and whether vehicles should be banned permanently. The fellowship claims that the experiment is irrational because barring all vehicles for the whole 18-month period will not provide any information on the effect that they have on the route.

It says that the authority failed to consider making a distinction between two and four-wheeled vehicles and whether the use of the route for motorcycles could be sustainable. It argues that the Authority was wrongly influenced by the cost of repairing the route, which it says was an irrelevant consideration. Mr Justice Ouseley has reserved his decision until a later date.