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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 12:02 GMT
Motors banned on prehistoric road
Ridgeway before and after
Major work has been undertaken after damage in previous years
Motorbikes and 4x4 vehicles which were damaging one of Britain's oldest roads have been banned from the area.

The temporary order has been imposed by a number of district councils on parts of the Ridgeway National Trail in south Oxfordshire during winter months.

In previous years the 6,000-year-old trail has been churned up by trail bikers and off-road drivers.

The ancient chalk ridge route, used by prehistoric man, runs across the Chilterns and the Wessex Downs.

This ban is excellent news for all walkers, horse riders and cyclists who wish to enjoy the Ridgeway in peace
Ian Richie
Friends of the Ridgeway
A council spokeswoman said: "We have undertaken extensive surface repairs and drainage improvements on the trail over the last two years.

"I am pleased to say that the condition of the Ridgeway is improving.

"However, we need to protect the most vulnerable sections from unacceptable levels of damage over the winter."

Ian Ritchie, chairman of the Friends Of The Ridgeway, said: "A voluntary code of respect has been in operation on the Ridgeway for 10 years but has plainly not been working.

"This ban is excellent news for all walkers, horse riders and cyclists who wish to enjoy the Ridgeway in peace, free from the ruts and mud that make the trail hazardous and unpleasant."

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