Holme Valley green laners nightmare: Police urged to 'lie in wait' for 'bullying' 4x4 drivers after latest confrontation with residents

The police have been urged to lie in wait for “green laners” who plague rural communities - and to impound any unlicensed vehicles as anti-social behaviour gets out of control.

It comes after a plea to close one notorious route in the Holme Valley fell on deaf ears.

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Locals living off Scaly Gate at New Mill near Holmfirth called 999 last weekend to report an altercation with green laners after a field and a farm were blocked by vehicles.

The Holme Valley is a hotspot for anti-social 'green laning'

They believe the same people returned late on Monday night.

One woman said: “[We had] off-roaders just above our entrance revving their engines at a horrendous level of noise for ages to the point where plumes of black smoke were all [we] could see in the headlights and smell.”

The latest incident was reported to the police with one local describing it as “intimidation because of the weekend’s confrontations”.

They added: “I’m reporting it now so they can hopefully patrol up here between 8pm and 10pm and catch the b******s.”

Residents have been backed by local councillor Donald Firth (Con, Holme Valley South), who described those creating deliberate late-night disturbances as “pea-brained excuses for humanity”.

Calling on joint action from West Yorkshire Police and Kirklees Council he said: “These morons are really out to torment in the hopes they will grind everyone down.

“If we all work together with the local people we can win this one, but we need support from Kirklees Council.

“So I am not asking, I am now demanding help before someone gets hurt.

“These people are not only nasty, they are bullies. Society can do without these anti-social vandals.”

The Holme Valley is a magnet for green laners, often driving unlicensed vehicles, who wreck dirt tracks, narrow lanes and winding roads with souped-up 4x4s and trail bikes.

However the pastime, in which drivers use routes categorised as byways open to all traffic, or BOATs, is legal and not prohibited by law.

In August the council used huge concrete blocks to close another popular green laning route at neighbouring Cheese Gate Nab Side for 18 months using a Traffic Regulation Order.

However a call for it to follow suit with Scaly Gate fell on deaf ears.

Residents are now considering legal action to try and block the route.

In May police seized a modified Land Rover 4×4 near Holmfirth after reports of nuisance and anti-social off-road driving.

It came after the Kirklees Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team and the Roads Policing Unit joined forces to clamp down on vehicles at Scaly Gate and Brownhill Lane.

The driver of the vehicle, which has been modified for extreme off-roading, was reported for driving offences.

Officers also seized two motorbikes after they were ridden on rough land off Old Gate at Holme Moss and recovered an abandoned 4×4, stolen from Marsden, which had fitted with false plates and spotted around the district for several weeks.

Kirklees Council’s powers are limited when it comes to tackling green laning, although the authority does set aside £50,000 a year to pay for damage to roads and tracks.

It has introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) at Yateholme in Holmbridge near Holmfirth to create a restricted area for four-wheeled vehicles.

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