MOTORCYCLISTS angry at plans to ban them from trails and green lanes around the Peak District held a protest day involving hundreds of riders staging a ‘go slow’ drive across the national park.
Riders from South Yorkshire and Derbyshire were joined by enthusiasts from across the country.
Hundreds of bikers, supported by four-wheel-drive motorists who also use the trails, staged a ‘back to tarmac’ protest in which they drove on roads around the national park at 25mph, creating large tailbacks on main roads.
They later gathered at Stanage Pole, on the Long Causeway trail, where environmental campaigners are calling for a ban on motor vehicles.
Protest organiser Mike Irving, of motorcycling group the Trail Riders Fellowship, said: “Environmental groups are telling us that while green lanes are for all to use, they don’t want us to use them.
“So, for that morning, we recreated the trail-riding experience on tarmac, riding along as we would on the trail at a maximum speed of 25mph while admiring the views.”
The Peak District Green Lanes Association and groups such as the Friends of the Peak District are calling for trails to be restricted to walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
The Peak District National Park Authority is in the middle of a public consultation on a traffic regulation order banning vehicles from Long Causeway and The Roych, near Chapel-en-le-Frith.
A spokesman for the Friends said: “The National Park Authority is doing exactly the right thing in pursuing TROs for these two lanes. It’s the highest level of restriction you can get. This will mean no vehicles at all can drive on these tracks and these sensitive landscapes will finally be protected.”