|More than 70 off-roaders stopped during Blackbrook checks|
More than 70 vehicles were checked by police yesterday, as part of Operation Blackbrook.
The checks were part of the latest project day on Sunday, October 10 involving a team of police officers, PCSOs, Peak District National Park Rangers and volunteers from Peak and District Motor Vehicle User Group and The Green Lane Association.
They targeted the areas of Chirpet Lane, Great Longstone, Wigley Lane at Rowland, Brushfield at Taddington, Chapel Gate, Abney, Bradley Lane at Pilsley, Hassop Common, Long Causeway at Stanage, Highcliffe near Eyam and the Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI) on Longstone Edge and Pindale.
Parts of Pindale have also been identified by English Heritage as an environmental crime scene due to persistent damage caused to the Roman lead mining which is a SSSI.
During the day officers stopped and spoke to the drivers of 16 4x4s, 16 quad bikes and 41 off-road motorcycles.
Ten riders were given Vehicle Defect Rectification forms after their bikes fell below the required standard for use on public roads, and at Pindale, three riders off road motorcyclists were found to have no insurance, MOT, tax or registration plates.
They have been reported for summons and will appear before Magistrates in due course.
PC Kevin Lowe, Operation Blackbrook coordinator said: "The Peak District National Park is here for everyone to enjoy, however many local residents have raised concerns at the regular Blackbrook meetings and have asked the police to take action against riders and drivers of off-road vehicles who are not using their vehicles legally.
"Operation Blackbrook brings together the community and other agencies or interest groups such as the Forum for Ancient Byways along with police in South Yorkshire, Cheshire and Brecon in Dyfed Powys, who run similar operations, so that we can share best practise.
"A great deal of support for the campaign also comes from representatives from off road user groups, including the Trail Riders Fellowship, The Peak and District Motor Vehicle Use Group, Buxton and District Landrover Club and the Green Lane Association to name a few, who want to ensure the Peak District National Park is respected and offer their assistance to put things right."
Operation Blackbrook is a long-term campaign which was first set up in April 2007 to reduce the impact of irresponsible off-roading on local residents and the countryside.
During the last project day, on Sunday, September 19, four off-road motorcyclists were also found without appropriate licences or insurance and were reported for summons.
PC Lowe added: "It is recognised that there is a rogue element of off-roaders who spoil people's lawful off road pursuits and have no respect for the Peak District National Park or the quality of life for local residents. We are continuing to work together to make a difference to those areas of concern and further high profile project days will be taking place."
Advice was given to all drivers and riders about their rights and responsibilities, and specialist leaflets produced by the Peak District National Park and Tread Lightly, an organisation which aims to educate and promote responsible recreation, were also given out.
The next meeting about Operation Blackbrook will start at 7pm on Tuesday, October 19 at Bakewell Town Hall.
Residents, off-roaders and farmers will be able to speak about concerns and raise issues to police, representatives from Derbyshire County Council and the Peak District National Park Authority.
For more information on the rights and responsibilities for off-roaders visit: www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/vehicles or www.treadlightly-uk.org.
Alternatively, you can check out the regulations on legal routes through the mapping system at www.trailwise.org.
This report has been taken from the Derbyshire Police website. The original can be found here