Return to the Countryside
Added: (Sun Feb 10 2002)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
RETURN TO THE COUNTRYSIDE
The Green Lane Association, GLASS, has officially dropped its access restriction policy following news that the Foot & Mouth epidemic is finally clear. On 14th January the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) confirmed that all counties were officially free of the disease.
GLASS, which represents motorists in the countryside, was one of the first Rights of Way organisations to impose a policy restricting access by its members. It is now the last major user group to lift those restrictions. Ian Boddison, GLASS' Rights of Way Practice Officer, recently advised the Executive Committee that the time was now right to lift the restrictions. Mr Boddison said "We could see right at the beginning of Foot & Mouth that this was going to be serious. As our principle objective is to promote sensible driving in the countryside, we had no option but to impose an immediate and total ban on our members. In June 2001 we partially lifted this ban with a revised policy that allowed some use of country lanes. We have been slower to fully lift our ban than other user groups but our members always want to ensure we take the most responsible approach, and we have done so". He added that GLASS members have fully followed the voluntary policy even though it has had a very negative impact on their hobby.
Mr Ray Clayton, the National Chairman of GLASS, said "Last year was very bad for rural communities. The lifting of our restriction policy will be a great help to them. Rural economies are at an all time low. But GLASS members will be getting out again and spending money in the shops, petrol stations and B&Bs which will help a little". Mr Clayton also explained that many lanes are in a bad state as they have not been used and are overgrown. "We will, as always, be working with landowners and local councils to help keep all these lanes open and easily usable by all".
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
- For further information see GLASS website: http://www.glass-uk.org
- e-mail enquiries can be made:
- Some DEFRA restrictions still exist on individual farms and GLASS has supplied advice to its members that deal with these. For more information see DEFRA website: http://www.defra.gov.uk