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24 May 2004 PDF Print E-mail

PRESS RELEASE

24 May 2004                                                    For Immediate Publication

 

Why does a Green Laning organisation want to see the Ridgeway closed?

 

The Ridgeway is an ancient Green Lane that has crossed six counties in the south of England for thousands of years. In recent times it has received a lot of press coverage, due to the wear and tear  that has been caused to its surface. The cause of this is still under debate, but as a way of preventing more being done and helping to preserve this piece of history, GLASS (the Green Lane Association) would like to see a flexible TRO (Traffic Regulation Order) imposed on the Ridgeway.

 

The Ridgeway is not representative of all the Green Lanes in Britain, because it receives far more use and publicity than many others. However, it is used by many different user groups, causing some conflict. GLASS is a voluntary organisation that actively encourages people to drive vehicles responsibly in the countryside. So why would such a group actually request that a TRO be placed on one of the most well known Green Lanes in the country, of which most people have heard, whether for the right or wrong reasons?

 

Unfortunately the Ridgeway is probably the most popular green lane in the country – the one everybody has heard of – for the right or wrong reasons. It is the M1 of green lanes. As an example of what most green lanes are many and varied. An order may restrict all vehicles like it is not a good example/ However it does receive a lot of use from all user groups and correspondingly large amount of months to a maximum of two years. Alternatively, an order may prevent vehicles from driving on one side of a Green Lane, or it could be used to limit when vehicles can use a particular Green Lane – for instance to weekdays only.attention.

 

TROs have been used successfully on many other, lower profile Green Lanes within the UK and have helped manage them for future continued use by all user groups. They offer a way of dealing with specific issues, at a local level. The uses of TROs are many and varied. An order may restrict all vehicles from driving along a defined stretch of a Green Lane, from as little as a few hundred yards, up to a few miles. It will be in place for a set length of time, which could be from a couple of months to a maximum of two years. Alternatively, an order may prevent vehicles from driving on one side of a Green Lane, or it could be used to limit when vehicles can use a particular Green Lane – for instance, to just weekdays

 

Even Green Lanes that do not need regular maintenance can benefit from being partially closed and protected. During the winter, parts of the Ridgeway become very muddy and rutted. A TRO that focuses on this individual, local issue could prevent vehicles – and possibly horses and walkers – from making the situation worse, for a few months of the year. When the weather improves in the spring, this Green Lane could be opened again, for use by all responsible riders and drivers. The Ridgeway is crossed by many other Byways, bridleways and footpaths. These should remain open even if a TRO is placed on the Ridgeway so GLASS is keen to work with local user groups, to ensure this happens.

So what is the point of closing only a section of a Green Lane, for a certain amount of time? Many of the Green Lanes which suffer  can  fully recover if they are only given time to do so. Many will return to their natural state, for example after a wet winter, on their own. Others, however, need some help. Stretches of the Ridgeway are often harrowed and re-seeded, to encourage grass to grow more thickly and provide a stronger turf. The ground will never fully recover if vehicles – and horses and walkers – are allowed to use these stretches too soon after the work has been done. Using a TRO on individual areas will ensure the maintenance work has a lasting effect.

 

Even Green Lanes that do not need regular maintenance can benefit from being partially closed and protected. During the winter, parts of the Ridgeway become very muddy and rutted. A TRO that focuses on this individual, local issue could prevent vehicles – and possibly horses and walkers – from making the situation worse, for a few months of the year. When the weather improves in the spring, this Green Lane could be opened again, for use by all responsible riders and drivers.

One of the other issues with The Ridgeway is that it is crossed by many other Byways, bridleways and footpaths. Any TRO needs to ensure that these cross routes remain open to all users.

 

GLASS fully supports the use of local initiatives to deal with local issues, such as placing a TRO on some parts of the Ridgeway, for some months of the year. The organisation is keen to work with local authorities to ensure Green Lanes like the Ridgeway have an even longer history.

 

-End-

 

 

 

With compliments:

GLASS                                                           Apple Tree

PO Box 48                                                     Westbrook Street

Huntingdon                                                     Blewbury

Cambridgeshire                                            Oxfordshire

PE26 2YY                                                      OX11 9QF

Tel: 01844 344 677                                      Tel: 01235 851771

                                                                        Fax: 01235 851773

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Website: www.glass-uk.org

Contact: Julian Poulter                                 Chantal Cornelius

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