Off road antics making life unbearable in rural areas

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Free Press Reporter

RURAL residents whose lives have become “unbearable” due to off-road enthusiasts will hold a public meeting in the autumn to air their grievances.

A impassioned letter from a member of the Save Our Paths group read to a Llangollen Town Council meeting this week said the blight of 4x4 vehicles racing around the area was blighting people’s lives.

Drivers zooming around were also becoming a danger to walkers and horse-riders, group member Edwina Hart said.

Save Our Paths, which has campaigned to curb irresponsible 4x4 and motorbike off-road driving in the area, will now hold a public meeting at the Town Hall at 7pm on Thursday, October 2 to try and find a way to tackle the problem.

The meeting was called by the group after residents complained the behaviour of off-roaders had become “fast, noisy, destructive and aggressive”.

Lanes and routes affected by offroaders include the Pengwern Estate and Pengwern Vale, Allt y Baddi, Smith's Wood and the Green Mountain.

Mrs Hart read her open letter to residents at a meeting of Llangollen Town Council.

Mrs Hart said: "Our valley has become unbearable for residents, most particularly at weekends.

"Locals have to be on high alert for their safety when walking, cycling or horse-riding around the Pengwern Vale or accessing their properties."

A Denbighshire Council spokesman said they had not yet received the open letter from Mrs Hart so were unable to comment.

The problem is not confined to Llangollen and its surrounding rural reas.

In June, more than 150 people attended a meeting at the Canolfan Ceiriog Centre, Glyn Ceiriog, to discuss similar problems w ith off-roaders in the Ceiriog Valley.

The meeting, chaired by North Wales Assembly Member Aled Roberts, resulted in police pledging to protect the area from irresponsible offroad drivers.

A spokesman for North Wales Police said Operation Gaining,a joint operation with Cheshire Police Officers with the aim of cracking down on illegal motorcycling in Wrexham, could be extended to rural areas near the town and would also target irresponsible off-road driving.

Members of Llangollen Town Council voted to let the hall on a charity rate to the Save Our Paths group for the public meeting in October.

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