All-terrain vehicle riders in Bathurst have been given a green light from city council to ride on certain streets.

Council unanimously passed the motion after a presentation by the New Brunswick ATV Federation and the now the Department of Public Safety has final approval.

'They're gonna come.  I think it's great.' - Hugh Comeau, city councillor

If allowed, all-terrain vehicles will be able to drive alongside cars into downtown Bathurst, said Jacques Ouellette of the ATV Federation.

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Jacques Ouellette of the New Brunswick ATV Federation says tourists have been asking for ATV access to Bathurst's downtown. (CBC)

"They'll be able to drive on the same lanes as the other motorized vehicles and then we'll hit Main Street, and we'll have access behind the hotel, which is the Best Western downtown Bathurst," explained Ouellette.

"From there, people will have access to three restaurants. This is something major because this is what our tourists ask for."

It's seen as a major boost for ATV tourism, which Ouellette says is picking up across the region, with people coming from Nova Scotia, Quebec and the south of the province.

What's been missing is access to restaurants and stores.

Coun. Hugh Comeau, who also manages the Best Western, thinks it's a good idea to welcome the ATV community.

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Bathurst Coun. Hugh Comeau predicts ATV tourists will come to Bathurst when they hear about the access they have to the downtown. (CBC)

"People with ATVs in the back of their trailers, if they know Bathurst has that kind of a mobility place, they're gonna come," said Comeau.

"I think it's great."

For those concerned about safety, Ouellette believes increased road access will decrease illegal driving.

"We take them on streets where they are allowed to travel," he said.

"They have to respect the laws, yes for sure, but once they're there, what we see in most cases, it eliminates illegal access elsewhere."

If approved, ATV's could join cars on the streets of Bathurst by this coming summer.