We are friends of the Peak District business owners. Motorcycle trail riding, horse riding, MTB cycle trail riding and ramblers all bring tourism to our area and as such are welcomed by ourselves, we do not discriminate
Logic leads us to believe that the basic rules of tourism and gainful business include providing goods , services or ( in the case of a tourist area) usable facilities that a wide spectrum of tourists would desire to use. We believe this is necessary in order to attract tourists to a particular area. Motorcycle trail riders have only 2% of unsurfaced routes left in the Peak District left to use legally. A very small amount compared to other countryside users. Some local authorities continue to reduce these facilities to motorcycle tourists still further despite this suggestion.
Many Derbyshire and Peak District businesses enjoy the benefit of tourism from Motorcyclists. Hotels, guest houses and B&Bs are among the ones who particularly look forward to motorcycle trail riding groups visiting the area. Many trail riders stay a few days and spend lots of money in cafes and restaurants.
Not content with having around 98% of the countryside rights of way already vehicle free, there are groups of people who are still not satisfied. They seem to want the entire network of thousands of miles of footpaths, bridleways and byways, to themselves. They appear to be trying to stop using the 2% or so we have left to use. Some groups lobby local authorities to close further routes to vehicles. We think that's unreasonable.
The option to walk, cycle or ride a horse without vehicle presence is already available and with a massive choice and availability of lanes. Motor Vehicles are a way of modern life. To seek to ban them from recreational pursuits, we feel is both unrealistic and unreasonable.
Trail riders come to the Peak District as paying tourists. They require, hotels, guest houses, restaurants and filling stations. A typical rider staying for the weekend might spend around £300. Indeed it is a fact trail riding is the main source of income in some Welsh villages. Without which the local people would have no jobs. As business owners ourselves we would like to bring this much needed finance to the area.
Signs like this are costing jobs and £ millions in lost tourism each year.
One thing all legitimate groups of countryside users appear to agree on is the unacceptable illegal use of motorcycles on non-motorised routes such as bridleways and footpaths. The APTR only promotes responsible, legitimate and legal motorcycle trail riding.
Illegal motorcycle use is on the increase. We think this could be partly due to so many closures of what few lanes are legally available by the local authority PDNPA. We fail to understand how closing more legal lanes can possibly reduce illegal riding without new provision being provided. Legal places to ride motorcycles are on the decrease. With the continued closure of the legal routes It is inevitable that illegal motorcycling is on the increase. The authorities have reduced the amount of lanes to such a degree that some riders opt to take the risk and ride where they like. We oppose this illegal action but are not surprised by it.
It would be a mistake to assume riders will simply stop riding when so few lanes remain any more than people would stop watching, or playing football if all the football pitches and recreation grounds were closed. They would simply go somewhere they shouldn't to practice their pursuit.
This is an unfortunate side effect of closing legitimate routes without consideration for the need to provide an infrastructure for motorcycle use. Without some provision being made we can only predict that illegal riding will continue to increase.