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Muddy hell...Look what 4x4 fans are doing to our lane
OFF-ROAD fanatics have so badly rutted a country lane it may have to be shut, say councillors.
Over-enthusiastic use of lanes by thrill-seeking 4x4 drivers spending their free time driving up the pathways has left one unpassable. The green lane, which is part of the public highway, in Peopleton, near Pershore, is the most serious example of how much damage has been done.
County councillor Rob Adams and the parish council say they are now “discussing a six-month closure order” to allow the lane “to recover”.
The lane runs from Norchard Lane in Peopleton to the B4082 near Seaford and is popular with walkers, ramblers and horse riders.
However, the lane – which is just over a mile in length – is for the most part dirt-track and ruts have been carved up to 3ft deep, filling with water and making it look more like Army trench works than a lane, according to locals.
Councillors admit that ditch clearance and hedge cutting in the fields either side would aid drainage, but would leave the ruts.
But the main problem is 4x4 drivers using the track at all hours of the day for the thrill of off-roading, which has deepened ruts making the lane impassable after recent wet weather.
Coun Adams said: “Everyone is entitled to use the lane, that’s agreed.
“But the enjoyment of these 4x4s is stopping the enjoyment of all the people who walk dogs along the lane and take in the magnificent views from the top of the lane.
“You can look out and see Bredon Hill and the Malverns and then the top of the church at Upton Snodsbury.
“We’re appealing to their better nature to leave off the lane for a bit and let it recover, otherwise we’ll have to have it shut.”
Coun Adams said there were similar problems with lanes around nearby White Ladies Aston.
Parish council chairman David Wall said: “The 4x4s have caused considerable damage, making it unsafe for other people to use. It usually happens during night time so it has been difficult to stop the vehicles.”
Coun Les Bailey, the parish council’s footpath warden, said: “It’s not just one vehicle, they’re coming in groups of four or five because if one gets stuck, they can pull the other out.”
One Land Rover off-road enthusiast, who did not want to be named, said if the road was public there was little the council could do.
He said: “Another argument would be if the council owns the road and gets road tax to maintain roads, why is it not being maintained properly?”