An MHK has called for vehicles to be banned from the Millennium Way.

Daphne Caine (Garff) expressed fears for the future of some of the island’s green lanes.

Bad weather and ’the destruction of certain routes caused by some trail bikes’ had left them in a poor state, she said.

One such area, she said, was the St Luke’s/Brandywell section of the Millennium Way.


’No remedial work has been undertaken since the very bad erosion of December 2015, and it has become a self-perpetuating problem,’ Mrs Caine told the House of Keys this week.

’Each time there is heavy rain, the ruts get deeper and the water builds up.’

She asked Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer if there were any plans ’to restore this celebrated and marketed long-distance footpath or to ban motor vehicles from it’.

Mrs Caine added: ’It seems a shocking legacy to leave for future generations.’

Mr Harmer said he would be happy to talk through the problems on the Millennium Way with Mrs Caine.

’It is about working collaboratively,’ he said.

Green lanes are unsurfaced highways in the countryside. There has been a lengthy debate on whether vehicles should be permitted to use them.

Mr Harmer said there were 76 miles of unsurfaced highways, along with 181 miles of countryside footpaths.

He said poor weather was responsible for much damage, but admitted ’resources are tight’. He said the Department of Infrastructure ’engaged’ with volunteer organisations, including the Green Lane User Group, when considering maintenance.

’The green lanes go through the lowland agricultural land as well as over the open hills,’ he added.

’They are a very valuable resource in finding access to the countryside, whether on foot, bicycle, horseback, 4x4 vehicles or trail bikes.’

Responding to concern over possible injuries to horses or their riders, he said: ’All of the green lanes are open to horse riders and it is up to the rider to decide whether they will take the horse along particular lanes.

’Some of the lanes are more suitable for horses than others.

’It is for the riders of horses and motorcycles to judge which lanes they feel they can use.

’Both groups are currently entitled to use these unsurfaced highways.’

Ralph Peake (Douglas North) emphasised that vehicles, including motorbikes, were permitted on green lanes.

He said there was ’an economic benefit of people using these green lanes, in a legal way, of £3.2 million to the Isle of Man’s economy’.