'Green lane' drivers defend their hobby in row over off-road vehicles

Green laning enthusiasts have defended their use of the countryside in the Ceiriog Valley near Chirk.

Boulders blocking the green lane
Boulders blocking the green lane

Local politicians met police officers and residents recently amid claims that people don't feel safe using the local lanes because of the off-road vehicles.

But the Green Lane Association (Glass), which represents all users of vehicular rights of way in the UK says its members have had to deal with obstructions on the roads. and have worked with the council offering to repair storm damage on one of the popular routes.

Lauren Eaton, regional co-ordinator for Glass said in that 2019 Glass offered Wrexham Council considerable funding, volunteer labour, and general assistance to repair storm damage to the Wayfarer, one of the most popular and longest routes used by all user groups in the area.

"This offer was accepted at the time, yet since that date nothing has moved forward, although 4x4 drivers have raised an additional £13,000 to help," she said.

She added that another local route, Whitestone, had continued to suffer from being blocked by illegal and dangerous items.

One of the purpose made 'caltrops'

In 2017 the lane was at the centre of a row when boulders, tree stumps, spikes and purpose-made 'caltrops' - made up of two or more sharp nails or spines - were strewn across its surface.

Ms Eaton added: "These illegal and dangerous items have continued to block and litter the public right of way for years; horrific, sharp metal constructions often found hidden between rocks or sunken into puddles lying in wait to injure walkers, horses and riders, as well motorised users who innocently comes across them."

"Green laners have walked this lane countless times removing sharps and items that look like something from a medieval torture museum, as well as removing many boulders and tree stumps illegally blocking the right of way.

Green Lane enthusiasts using a metal detector to look for obstructions

"Several laners have paid for metal detectors to sweep the lane at their own expense. The Green Lane Association has invested in cameras to catch the culprit only to find them stolen or smashed."

"No one living locally has ever seen anyone manoeuvring huge stumps and boulders up there. Yet every single 4x4 is noticed - even the local vet coming to a farm in his own 4x4 caused an alert to be sent out between residents of the valley.

"The lane is now not accessible to anyone. Surely it is quite clear that these illegal actions are far more prohibitive to local users than the presence of motorised vehicles legally using a road."

A boulder blocking the green lane

"As a local resident myself I drive, walk and horse ride on these lanes weekly. Other than storm damage to the Wayfarer and illegal damage to Whitestones the lanes are in a good state of repair and have low numbers of vehicular users."

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