A NARROW mountain lane has been damaged and turned into an “international playground” for 4x4s and satnav-guided lorries, angry villagers claimed yesterday.
Residents living at Allt-y-Badi near Llangollen say their quality of life has been “destroyed” after a route once used only by walkers became impassable through its popularity with heavy vehicles and off-roaders.
But, although the single-track has now been reduced to potholes and is passable only by 4x4s equipped with winches, residents hope a new website has finally helped resolve the situation.
Villager Sally Clark and her company director husband Keith fear Grade-II listed walls surrounding her 400-year-old property and lining the lane itself are threatened by the HGVs.
She said, “Until the last few years the lane wasn’t used as a road. Before the 4x4s used it the road was a green lane.
“Most of it was covered by grass and it was used by horses and walkers and not by traffic.
“When the traffic comes it breaks up more of the road surface and it’s churning up the banks at the side and, when there is heavy rain, everything gets washed up and blocks up the drains near our properties. We get silt, mud and debris filling up the street.”
She often spends hours helping lorry drivers negotiate their way out after becoming wedged in the lane.
Describing the thoroughfare as an “international playground”, she claimed excess water washes eroded materials down the length of the lane onto neighbouring land.
Mrs Clark, 56, finally lost patience on February 14, and turned to fixmystreet.com after a 20-tonne lorry was misdirected down the route by satnav.
The website encourages residents to publicise gripes about local problems online.
It automatically forwards the complaint to the relevant local authority – Denbighshire County Council in Mrs Clark’s case.
Writing about the incident on the site, Mrs Clark said, “The police were called and expressed their ‘concern’ that after two years the problem remained unsolved. I am appalled by the attitude of Denbighshire County Council.”
Around four residents live along the lane and one, who did not wish to be named, claimed the local authority had now been “embarrassed” into action by the complaints on fixmystreet.com
They said, “The complaints have been on-going and we have written letters before to the council and they had always been quite dismissive.
“In the past we’ve been fobbed off by being told things like, ‘There’s nothing we can do’ or ‘Maybe we can do something’.”
A spokesperson for Denbighshire County Council said, “We are aware of the concerns of some local residents. Allt y Badi is a rural country lane that is unsuitable for large and heavy vehicles. Unfortunately, a number of lorries that are fitted with GPS systems have been using the road to travel from Llangollen to Glyn Ceiriog.
“The council has already erected a sign which warns motorists that the road is unsuitable for heavy vehicles. It has also contacted a number of GPS companies who have now amended their route records and should result in less motorists using the road. The council also intends to upgrade advisory signage in the area.”