The National Motorcyclists Council have welcomed a High Court decision to revoke a traffic regulation order which had removed vehicular access rights on a green road in Wrexham The unclassified county road known as “Whitestones”, in Llansanffraid Glyn Ceiriog, Wrexham County Borough, is a popular route among ‘green laners’ and other types of recreational users. However, Users have encountered problems on the route from at least 2016 when obstructions and blockages started appearing in an attempt to discourage public use.
In May 2021 the Green Lane Association (GLASS), a member of the NMC’s partner organisation, the Land Access and Recreation Association, served notice on Wrexham Council that the highway was out of repair. This led to a period where the condition of the route was improved, with repairs carried out. The GLASS ‘out of repair’ case remains ongoing, but in April 2023, Wrexham County Borough Council resolved to make an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) which would prohibit the public from using vehicles on the Whitestones route, irrespective of its state of repair.
The ETRO was strongly challenged by the GLASS and the Trail Riders Fellowship. The TRF took the case to the High Court, claiming, among other things, a failure of the Council to consult in accordance with the appropriate regulations.
The Council have subsequently agreed, as confirmed by the High Court order, that the ETRO is now quashed, meaning that recreational users can again use the route in the normal way.
The Trail Rider Fellowship’s John Vannuffel said: “TRF welcomes Wrexham County Borough Council’s swift decision to consent to the quashing of the prohibition order and acceptance of a failure to consult TRF as required. Wrexham County Borough Council’s efficient response has enabled costs for all parties to be reduced. The requirement to consult is baked in to legislation and statutory guidance. The law is adequate but the application of the law rests with traffic authorities exercising powers to restrict or prohibit traffic. Public authorities must hear the other side and not only listen to those pressuring for a prohibition or restriction.”
GLASS commented: “Whilst this is a significant victory in our fight against unfair exclusion of recreational users, GLASS are aware that local peoples’ attitudes towards the use of this route are mixed, and we wish to remind our members and other users that they are expected to observe the GLASS or TRF codes of conduct when using any green road.”
Notes to Editors:
1. For further comment from the NMC please contact Craig Carey-Clinch, on 07979 757484 / firstname.lastname@example.org
2. The TRF Code of Conduct can be found here: https://trail.trf.org.uk/conservation/code-of-conduct/
3. The Green Lane Association Code of Conduct can be found here: https://glass-uk.org/about/our-code-of-conduct
4. National Motorcyclists Council members are: The Auto Cycle Union, BikeSocial, BikeTrac, the British Motorcyclists Federation, IAM RoadSmart, the National Motorcycle Dealers Association, the Trail Riders Fellowship and the Vintage Motor Cycle Club
(Photo courtesy of the Green Lane Association)