Created in December, a petition insisting that legal unsurfaced roads open to motor vehicles cannot legally be closed by local authorities without offering a similar route or facility in its place has now had a response.
After reaching 10,000 signatures from the public, the government has been required to provide a response. Here’s what they’ve had to say:
‘The Government believes that local highway authorities, which are responsible for the management of motor vehicles and unsealed routes, are best placed to develop local solutions for their area.’
‘Each local highway authority, or national park authority where appropriate, has considerable local knowledge about users to develop the most effective local solutions for their area. The Government believes that locally brokered solutions are therefore the most effective solutions in the long-term.’
‘Local authorities have legislative powers, including powers to make a traffic regulation order to close a route to motorised vehicles if any problems occur, but they must fully consider and respond to any representations they receive about a proposed order.’
‘We have helped establish a forum to bring together a number of motor vehicle stakeholders to discuss ways of working together in the future. The forum met on 17 November 2016, chaired by Natural England. It looks to identify and develop solutions for a range of issues about motorised vehicles’ said the department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The petition is still available to sign here until the 23 May 2017. At 100,000 signatures, the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.