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Topic - Motorbikes and scottish access laws

jonny taylor on 14 Oct 2013
I had a brief run-in over the weekend with some dirt bikers in the woods upriver from Kinlochleven. Entirely my own instigation, I could have just stood aside and let them roar through, but I didn't feel like just letting it happen. In retrospect though I did start to wonder whether I was in the wrong. Just wondered if somebody could fill me in on what the actual legal situation is.

First the general question: am I right in thinking that scottish access laws do not by default permit motorized vehicles, including dirt bikes, to go wherever they please?

Second the specific question: presumably any landowner could give whatever access permission they might choose to. Are dirt bikes permitted to use the narrow rocky path on the north bank of the river Leven running up to the dam? It seemed pretty uncool to me (and they basically forced my girlfriend off the path and nearly sent her down the slope...), but for all I know maybe they were perfectly within their rights to be riding (albeit a bit antisocially) along there. The guy I had words with had a lot of chat about "you people coming up here with your rucsacs and telling us what to do" and something about "we made this path" which I presume was just meaningless bluster (I really can't see that being true...). Would be interested to know what the local situation is if anybody knows, though. Maybe I was out of order.
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