asked the Minister of Transport whether he will take steps to empower local authorities to prohibit motor vehicles from using tracks and bridle paths across down country, seeing that if motor vehicles continue to use such tracks without restriction it may devolve upon the local authorities to maintain such tracks as roads?
I am advised that any person who, without the consent of the owner of the soil, drives a vehicle on a foot or bridle path or on any land which is not, a public carriage-way, commits an act of trespass. It would be a matter of considerable legal difficulty to give local authorities any control over such use of private land.
If land is not claimed by private owners, then surely it must be under the jurisdiction of a public authority, and, if so, it will probably be a charge on the public.
Is it not a fact that the owners of these lands are good enough to allow the public to use them, and why should anybody else interfere? Should we not rather encourage owners to do this?