Crackdown promised on off-road drivers

ABANDONED: Reader Bob Williams took a picture of this abandoned off-road car on the Coity Mountain

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First published in News

POLICE are clamping down against vehicles tearing through the Torfaen mountainsides with a “zero tolerance” approach that could see offenders prosecuted.

Gwent PC Damion Stockwin set out details of a summer operation to tackle irresponsible bikers and 4x4 drivers using common land as dirt tracks.

PC Stockwin pledged to take action against offenders through patrols and use section 59 legal notices that can lead to the confiscation of vehicles, in a report to councillors at aTorfaen full council meeting.

Bob Williams spotted an abandoned off-road car on the Coity Mountain on the weekend.

He said: “Off-roading around Blaenavon has become a serious problem.

“Besides chewing up the countryside it has been detrimental to nesting birds especially lapwings.

“So it is nice to see that at least one culprit has been stopped dead in his tracks.

“There has been a lot of problems with illegal off-roading, mainly motorbikes and to see four wheels is unusual.”

PC Stockwin told councillors his officers had a “zero tolerance” approach and indicated the off-roading operation had been successful so far.

He told the full council meeting: “We have had very, very good results.

“We have had no calls recorded – They went down to none during June.

“But we did have a couple over the weekend."

Farmers in and around the Blaenavon World Heritage Site voiced concern over the escalating problem back in May, which a Torfaen council spokesman said was threatening centuries-old practice of farmers turning stock out onto the hills.

Gwent Police confirmed bikers had illegally ridden in key areas including Mynydd Carn y Cefn, Coity Mountain and The Blorenge.

A spokeswoman said: “Work is being carried out by local officers to identify key offenders.

“The three local policing units will provide patrols, predominantly on a Sunday morning, to check for illegal off roaders.”

Anyone with information about off road bikers is urged to call police on 101.

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