Ban threat for 4x4 off-roaders

SUFFOLK is declaring war on 4x4 enthusiasts who damage quiet rural bridleways and byways by driving through the countryside.Cross-country off-road driving - so-called 'green laning' - can cause serious damage to routes that are designed to be quiet pedestrian links between villages, or peaceful routes for horseriders or cyclists.

SUFFOLK is declaring war on 4x4 enthusiasts who damage quiet rural bridleways and byways by driving through the countryside.

Cross-country off-road driving - so-called 'green laning' - can cause serious damage to routes that are designed to be quiet pedestrian links between villages, or peaceful routes for horseriders or cyclists.

But the county council's cabinet has confirmed that motor vehicles are to be banned from two bridleways in Whepstead and Hartest in the west of the county, and now its transport portfolio holder Guy McGregor is warning further bans could follow.

He said: 'At Darney Lane in Whepstead we found there had been a lot of damaged caused by 4x4 vehicles using it. These were not work vehicles, as such, they were people using the route to drive as recreation - and that is not what a bridleway is designed for.


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'We have had to spend quite a lot of money on repairing the bridleways and we want to ensure that the vehicles don't come back.'

Mr McGregor said it could be necessary to make further orders on other bridleways and footpaths over the next few months.

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The vehicle bans were supported by the local parish councils who said that farmers had other access to their fields and there was no need for any vehicles to use the bridleways, he added.

The increase in the popularity of 4x4 vehicles over the last few years has spawned an interest in 'green laning' where owner take their vehicles off road and put them through their paces.

In parts of the country special lanes have been created to allow them to carry out their hobby in relative safety and the Green Lane Association (GLAss) was founded to represent the interests of 4x4 drivers with a keen interest in off-roading.

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