Motorists protest over Peak District access

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Motoring groups have protested against a possible ban on them using unsurfaced roads in the Peak District National Park.

The park authority is considering banning trail-bikes, quad bikes and 4x4s from unsurfaced roads at Long Causeway and Roych Clough.

Some conservationists have concerns about erosion but motoring groups say the move is unfair.

'Slow drives' are planned for 21 October, 25 November and 30 December.

The Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF) said it hoped to highlight the unintended consequences a possible ban would bring.

'Recreation for all'

Spokesman Richard Simpson said: "We enjoy pottering about the countryside, using legal unsurfaced rights-of-way on our bikes and in our 4x4s.

"If we can no longer enjoy this experience on legal rights of way, then we will recreate it on tarmac roads."

Moorland plateau in the Derbyshire Peak District The Peak District attracts millions of visitors every year

The park authority is holding a public consultation until 2 November.

In March, it announced it would monitor 27 unsurfaced roads in the national park for use by 4x4s and off-road bikes.

In June it consulted statutory bodies on possible limits.

Christopher Pennell, from the authority, said "We are currently consulting on proposals to minimise damage and disturbance on two unsealed routes.

"We want to safeguard what people value most about these areas, but we want to hear everyone's views and will make a final decision in the light of all the evidence and feedback."

He added: "Our aim is to improve responsible recreation opportunities for all, which encourage a sense of adventure, promote health and wellbeing and are sustainable and appropriate to the national park landscape."

The park, which attracts more than 10 million visitors a year, has land located in Derbyshire, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire, Cheshire and South Yorkshire.

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