Off-road bickers destroying RCT Council’s five-year-old Flood Alleviation Scheme and Public Rights of Way
Off-road tourists tearing up trails ‘in the name of fun’ was the headline back in March 2012 then Phil Bevan, head of community safety at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “Illegal and inconsiderate off-road biking and driving continues to be a community concern.
Back then Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Off-Road Enforcement Team, South Wales Police and the Forestry Commission Natural Restores Wales patrolled the area and identified “hot spots” for illegal off-roading. Then officers found motorbikes and 4×4 vehicles racing around the Tylorstown tip, known as “old Smokey”, earlier in the month, well we know what happened to the coal tip in Tylorstown in 2020. Was excessive rainfall the only problem that caused the landslip at a neglected coal tip or did Illegal off-roading also have an impact?
Illegal off-road riders are well aware they disturb the ground, and off-road vehicles can churn up soil, leading to ruts, damaged root systems, compacted soil, accelerated erosion, and increased sedimentation in waterways. Illegal off-roading riders also know that they will cause erosion that damages the earth and can lead to things like flooding, mudslides, and just changing the area’s landscape for the worse.
Let’s look a little closer to home Cwmaman in the Cynon Valley just one of the hotspots for illegal off-roading in RCT, RCT Council has just built a new school in Cwmaman with waste material from the school construction site dumped around the River Aman as a bund or embankment, the councils excuse at the time was to help prevent flooding.
AberdareOnline had a few photographs directed to us they show the destruction of the flood prevention embankment at Cwmaman by illegal off-roading in the area, off-roading in this area is illegal the riders know this, it is clear they have no respect for the local community where they live this is a small minority out to do as much damage to the local countryside as they can.
Unless off-road bikers have a large van these off-road bikers use our local roads and narrow streets in order to get off-road, are they insured? Who knows, as they registered at the DVLA? If not certified how are they allowed to keep getting away with it?
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Community Safety has concerns regarding environmental crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour. Illegal off-road vehicle use is a specific public issue focused on off-road motorcycle scrambling. As a result, the Partnership has employed an Off-Road Motorcycle Co-ordinator.
In light of recurrent damage done by off-roading scramblers is it time that the Welsh Government South Wales Police and our local authority placed more resources into this long-continuing problem, lighter evenings are coming therefore patrols on motorbikes are the answer, not cars just for a photo opportunity, evenings and weekends would be the best time to prevent this happening.
Looking at the Tylorstown tip landslide did off-road scramblers contribute to the ongoing problems on that tip before the landslide? The evidence is there in Cwmaman of the damage that can be caused by off-roaders, damage to areas next to a watercourse the River Aman, and Public Rights of Ways destroyed residents unable to use for recreation, all done by just a minority of the community.
It is all down to good policing of the areas and known hotspots, the bigger problem is proven bikers are responsible for so much erosion that cause flooding to property, as well as being antisocial and inconsiderate to other residents, Cwmaman is just one area you can include Cwmbach Abernant, Abercwmboi and many parts of the Rhondda Valleys.
This is a big problem throughout South Wales not taken seriously enough by the authorities, I say this because the destruction caused is having long-term problems for residents’ health and environment. The police cannot do this on their own it’s up to the public to inform them if they have concerns.