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Contact: Mark Margetts
28th January 2010

Press Release…for immediate release

Treadlightly Kick Starts At The 2010 Motorcycle Trade Expo

The Treadlightly Trust launched its UK initiative at the Motorcycle Trade Expo at the NEC in Birmingham, on 24th-26th January.

The purpose of the Trust is creating an alliance to make off-roading for motorbikes and 4x4’s more socially acceptable, by educating users to be more environmentally aware.

A number of historical rights of way have been lost in recent legislative changes and others are currently under threat of closure due to their poor condition. The Treadlightly team hope, that by educating users and maintaining these routes, it will be able to retain and improve the route network for future generations. Publication and provision of educational material including Good Practice Guides and codes of conduct will be at the heart of the Treadlightly strategy.

Mark Margetts, project manager, for the Treadlightly Trust gave a presentation to motorcycle dealers and manufacturers each day at the Expo.  Among the concerns raised, was the problem facing the motorcycle trade industry if the remaining routes close. This would result in a significant loss to the motorcycle trade. The Treadlightly Trust is looking for key players within the motorcycle industry to get involved in supporting the programme both financially and in kind. The Trust follows in the footsteps of a similar and successful initiative in the USA.

Mark Margetts, Treadlightly! Project Manager launching the Trust at the Motor Cycle Expo at the NEC

“The Treadlightly team feel their attendance at the Expo was extremely worthwhile and that the programme has received good exposure. It was especially beneficial to have the opportunity to discuss plans with various representatives of the motorcycle trade. The feedback received from these discussions was very positive and supportive of the proposed strategy. Indeed, the majority of dealers were keen to take stocks of the Treadlightly brochure to distribute to end users and a number have expressed an interest in becoming Ambassadors for the programme.”

Mark Margetts – Project Manager, The Treadlightly Trust

Treadlightly will exhibit at the Total Off Road Show at Bingley Hall on 21st March to launch the programme to recreational 4x4 users. The Trust also plans to attend a number of consumer 4x4 and Motorcycle shows aimed at the motorised recreation community through the summer. The objective will be to engage users in the programme and to appoint Ambassadors across the UK who can promote treadlightly! to end users and local authorities.

Bill Wiggin MP, Chair of the ALL-PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP FOR MOTORCYCLING said: “We all know there is a small minority of irresponsible motor bike owners who give the rest a bad name and I am very optimistic that this exciting initiative will have a significant positive effect on their behaviour in the countryside. I am pleased to see that the pilot project in Wales supported by the Welsh Assembly Government(WAG) and the Countryside Council for Wales(CCW), will now replicate partnership-working between government agencies and user groups all over the country.”


Background Information for the Treadlightly Trust

Treadlightly follows in the footsteps of a similar initiative in the USA which has successfully brought together motorised users, user groups, local and national authorities and private sector suppliers to collaborate in protecting and improving the trail network for the benefit of motorised recreational access.

Treadlightly in the UK sets out to build on this experience and has already established an awareness, and gathered support from a number of UK agencies and organisations to work together to protect and improve the route network in the UK for future generations.

Treadlightly is a partnership initiative set up by the key recreational motorised access user groups, with support from the Welsh Assembly Government through The Countryside Council for Wales.

The Treadlightly Trust has appointed Mark Margetts as Project Manager to oversee the launch of the charity in the UK. Mark has been closely involved in the formation and development of the charity and has been working on a voluntary basis with other steering group members over the past 18 months to create awareness and raise funding to launch the project.

The Treadlightly Trust has been set up as a Registered Charity with the following objective (mission):

Treadlightly sets out to protect motorised recreational access opportunities through education, partnership working, and conservation initiatives.

This will be achieved by a combination of activities including:

Publication and provision of educational material including Good Practice Guides and codes of conduct will be at the heart of the Treadlightly strategy. It is proposed to make such documents readily accessible by simple download, and distribution via relevant contact points.

Publication and dissemination of relevant information that will positively influence the behaviour and attitude of motorised users via the website and other channels, will be key to the success and viability of the Treadlightly programme.

By working with local authorities and landowners, Treadlightly and its partners hope to create additional opportunities for identification and provision of suitable recreational sites that will enable motorised users to practice their pastime with minimal impact on communities and the environment.

Partnership working with enforcement authorities to educate and eliminate the anti-social and irresponsible element from the user base will improve the general perception of users by the broader community and, at the same time, reduce the incidence of environmental damage and nuisance.

Improved signage and information
A recognised difficulty across the UK route network is a lack of effective signage, often leading to confusion and misunderstandings between different users. Treadlightly will work with local authorities and landowners to improve the clarity and accuracy of route marking.

Volunteer Projects
Many routes across the UK have deteriorated into poor condition due to a combination of factors including lack of maintenance, water erosion, over-use, and abuse. Treadlightly recognises that due to budgetary constraints, highways authorities are finding it difficult to reinstate some routes to a satisfactory condition. Treadlightly aims to work closely with the relevant authorities to establish effectively managed volunteer projects to enable such improvements to be made in an affordable manner.

Getting Involved
There are a number of opportunities to get involved with the Treadlightly programme – the first thing to do is to go to the Treadlightly website at www.treadlightly-uk.org and find out more about the programme. There will be a number of initiatives undertaken across the UK and some projects are already up and running in Wales.

Individuals can either register as a Friend of Treadlightly and/or as a Volunteer and this will enable them to receive regular newsletters via email, updating individuals on various initiatives and inviting them to get involved in local projects.

However, if you like what Treadlightly is doing then we would really welcome your support as a member of Treadlightly for which we ask a small membership fee to help fund administration and projects.

Club or Society
We welcome Clubs and Societies to affiliate to the Treadlightly programme and this will entitle your club to use the Treadlightly logo in its communications and promotions. However, we do ask you to ensure that your members follow the Treadightly ethos and in particular, sign up to the Codes of Conduct which can be found on the website.

User Groups
We are keen to engage with relevant national user groups and forums and work together to spread the message and generally improve the situation in the countryside for the benefit of all. GLASS, CRAG and TRF are already founding sponsors of Treadlightly.

Local Authority
In order to effectively meet our objectives we are keen to engage with highways and national park authorities to work together to deliver some of the benefits outlined above. Please get in touch via the website so that we can set up a dialogue regarding improvement projects in your area.

We are especially interested to work with corporate sponsors who can help us either financially or in kind to make Treadlightly an effective force in improving and retaining the route network for future generations. Please contact us to discuss potential support options.

The Treadlightly Trust
Registered Charity No: 1133154
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