Happy Valley Voluntary Restraint Being Ignored By 4×4 drivers

Off road vehicles are still being driven on parts of Snowdonia despite there being a voluntary restraint on the byway known locally as Happy Valley.

The voluntary restraint on Happy Valley byway in Wales would run until April according to a tweet by GLASS. Stakeholder members requested the ongoing voluntary restraint on Happy Valley, the restraint includes both motorbikes and 4×4 vehicles.

Snowdonia National Park Authority say that byways in Cwm Maethlon, near Aberdyfi, Gwynedd have been substantially damaged and they do not have the funds to cover the repair. Gwynedd council has arranged for transportation officers to visit the site and assess the situation.

Green Lane Association (Glass) has pledged money and asked drivers that drivers of 4×4 vehicles and off road motorcycles stay away from the ‘Happy Valley’ byway.

Storm Doris caused damage to the Byway last year which has been made worse by some isolated incidents of illegal and inappropriate use by 4x4s.


A group of 4×4 drivers were using the ancient roads last August when one of the vehicles got stuck causing damage to the green lanes. One of the drivers from the group said one of the drivers had got badly stuck and some “regrettable damage” was done to remove the truck, adding drivers would be willing to help pay for the repairs.

I can fully understand that this will upset some people, had we known of the problem beforehand we would have avoided the route altogether,” he said.

This is a very short section on a very long, challenging and beautiful route, the vast majority of which can be driven without doing any harm.

It would be a shame if access was denied to the whole route because of this one section but none of us wish to make the situation worse.

On the flip side the Park authorities feel as though they have been put in very frustrating position.

Consideration is not given to other users, fragile habitats and the environment of the national park are being destroyed as tracks become wider resulting in more damage.

Repairs are too costly for the authority and landowners to implement and traffic regulation orders can result in significant costs.

It said Glass, a group that promotes sensible driving in the countryside, had agreed to contribute towards the costs of repairs to one section of the road.

The authority will also work with the group, landowners, Gwynedd council and North Wales Police to prevent the “damaging and anti-social behaviour”.

Gwynedd council said: “Officers from the council’s transportation service will be visiting the site to assess the condition of the route and to consider the options available to manage the flow of traffic.”

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