WHAT’S IN A NAME?
LRM Referendum: Should we call greenlanes green roads? You decide!
I’M WRITING to you as the editor of the leading Land Rover magazine and asking you to support a campaign to prevent our green roads from gradually being closed.
I believe it is a fact that the more a lie is repeated, the more it gets assumed to be true. This is certainly true of the public’s perception of the nature of our hobby of greenlaning, as they have the view that it is off-road motoring. This view is promoted by many of the rambling-type groups, including GLEAM, the Ramblers Association, the Peak District Green Lane Alliance and many more (I found 20 such groups in a quick Google search). In fact, they actually define greenlaning as an off-road activity. And this is how the public have now accepted this as a fact. It is too late to redeem this situation.
Hence I believe that we must change the words we use to define our hobby so as to alter the public’s view.
Consequently I suggest that we change from saying ‘greenlaning’ to using the term ‘green road driving’ / ‘green road days’ / ‘green road days out’, etc.
This phrase has been chosen as the public think that it is their God-given right to drive on a road and would be incensed if there was any likelihood that this might be withdrawn. Their sympathy may influence the treatment of proposed green road closures. And, this is particularly relevant when this subject is put before Parliament again.
I have made this suggestion to several motor clubs and other relevant bodies. For instance GLASS are now using this term in their newsletter and Trail Riders Fellowship use it exclusively. Some motor clubs have adopted the phrase, too. However, it will not become popular unless a respected publication, such as yourselves, gives it a stamp of approval. Hence if you used it in your magazine it would have so much impact that it would drop into common usage.
Of course, this is a subtle change, but if it influences the general view, then it must help. And if you lead this initiative then others will follow.
On the same topic, you could become the champions of the green road community by leading a campaign to save our green roads. No mainstream magazine has taken this up with any enthusiasm yet, but one will eventually when they realise that a large part of their readership are green road users. If green roads are subsequently shut then you could lose a portion of your readership.
The ramblers are well organised and have several continuing campaigns directed at Parliament and the press with the single objective of banning motor vehicles from green roads. But where is our response? Individuals agree that there should be a spearhead and what could be better than a magazine of your calibre?
So I ask you to join, or rather lead, in the fight to protect our green roads from being taken from us, by a simple correction to the text you use or better still by becoming the champions of this important cause.
I like your line of argument, Peter, so I am putting it to LRM’S readers to decide: should we call greenlanes green roads? Please let us know your thoughts – Ed.