Crackdown on 'green laners' who tear up rural roads leads to police seizing vehicles

A campaign against “green laners” who tear up rural roads and tracks in Kirklees has led to police seizing illegal vehicles.

A Land Rover, modified for extreme off-roading, which was seized by police near Holmfirth. (Image: LDRS)

Officers seized two motorbikes after they were ridden on rough land off Old Gate at Holme Moss.

And a 4×4, stolen from Marsden, fitted with false plates and spotted around the district for several weeks, was recovered from New Mill where it had been abandoned.

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The car is now set to be returned to its owners.

It follows the seizure of a modified Land Rover 4×4 at Holmfirth earlier this month.

Green laning, in which trail bikes and 4x4s tackle dirt tracks, narrow lanes and winding roads categorised as BOATs (byways open to all traffic), is legal and not prohibited by law.

However farmers and rural residents say it is making their lives a misery, and that the phenomenon – which they consider anti-social behaviour – causes a lot of damage.

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Among those backing farmers and locals is Holme Valley South councillor Donald Firth.

He applauded police for taking quick action.

“I am delighted,” he said. “The more vehicles the police seize, the better it is. The police have taken up the baton and are running with it. I can only say, ‘Good on you’. We are trying very hard to sort this out. Of course we are still experiencing a problem but not in the numbers that we were.”

Coun Firth said the 4×4 recovered in New Mill “had been running rampant for three weeks. It had been spotted all over the place.”

Kirklees Council is to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) at Yateholme in Holmbridge near Holmfirth, which would create a restricted area for four-wheeled vehicles.

Any unauthorised drivers could face a fine of up to £1,000. It will prohibit unlicensed four-wheeled vehicles. Motorcycles are not affected.