Do you enjoy riding your motorbike in green lanes in the U.K.? For those unfamiliar, green lanes can be public or private, and are generally green, leafy, unpaved roads or footpaths, often in rural areas. They’re frequently surrounded by greenery—hence their name. Sounds lovely, right? According to the British Motorcyclists Federation, rider access to using these areas is unfortunately under serious threat.
Back in 2018, the U.K. Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) undertook an independent review to assess the state of protections for Britain’s National Parks and areas of outstanding national beauty (or AONBs). It’s no secret that natural areas can be negatively impacted when humans are careless, so this assessment sought to address whether or not existing protections were adequate, and whether they needed to be adapted to better meet present-day needs.
That’s all well and good, as these green areas belong to everyone, and it’s up to the people to care for them so we can all continue to enjoy them. Where the BMF’s concern lies is in some of DEFRA’s additional questioning about possible U.K. government restrictions on recreational vehicles. There are, of course, differences between someone purposely being destructive with a vehicle in a green area, and someone simply riding their bike through and enjoying the feeling of being surrounded by nature—and the BMF wants to make that known.
If you’re a rider in the U.K., and the idea of restricted access to green lane motorcycling concerns you, the BMF is asking you to respond to DEFRA’s questionnaire about these issues. The submissions deadline is April 9, 2022—so there’s not much time to lose. In fact, if you’re simply a U.K. motorist who doesn’t ride, but you can see where riders are coming from on this issue, the BMF invites you to make your thoughts known as well.
Now, if you’ve spent any time on the internet, you of course recognize the impact trolls can have on efforts like this. The BMF is therefore asking that your responses remain polite, measured, and to the point. Writing angry and abusive emails is more likely to get them deleted than it is to help matters. Save the venting for your friends and your personal social media accounts, not the poor unpaid intern who has to empty the email box at the other end.
For details and guidance about the questionnaire, check out the BMF link in our Sources and do what you can to stand up for green lane riding in the U.K.
Sources: British Motorcyclists Federation, U.K. Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, ADV Rider