Reckless drivers could cause the closure of Flitch Way Byway, residents of Great Dunmow report vehicles driving recklessly and disguising their number plates are causing issues.
Yet another byway faces the threat of closure due to misuse by inconsiderate drivers. Local residents of Great Dunmow have reported that a small minority of 4×4 drivers are tearing up and down the lane in vehicles with no visible number plates.
“The use of the byway by vehicles not showing number plates has increased, and therefore, they are not taxed or insured – what happens if they hit someone?” said Rod Jones, local resident.
“I am not against responsible use of the byway by ‘green laners’. However, as usual, it’s the minority that have caused the damage on and adjacent to the byway.
“The off-roaders are using it at night and have been seen with balaclavas to hide identity, what are they trying to hide? If you approach them it normally ends in abusive behaviour.”
Issues with anti social driving have been ongoing since 2013 when fears that 4×4 drivers could damage the A120 bridge at Dunmow by winching their vehicles up the grass verge from the byway using the bridges stanchions. Bollards were installed to prevent vehicles winching up the verge, however they were soon pulled out according to Councillor Susan Barker, deputy leader of Uttlesford District Council.
Mr Jones said: “The irresponsible behaviour has to be stopped. This can only be achieved by a concerted effort by Essex County Council (ECC) and the police.
“The byway is so narrow in places that bikes, motor bikes, pedestrians and 4×4 have to occupy the same space with limited visibility of what is approaching.
“How long before an incident occurs that could and should have been prevented.
“The number of offences occurring should have been enough for the police and ECC to take action.”
Cllr Barker, who is a member of Uttlesford District Council’s highways panel, has pledged to put the issue on the agenda at an upcoming meeting.
Cllr Barker said: “I think in this location that closures or resurfacing may not be the solution as I believe that it is the water as much as the byway that is the attraction and highways may need to work with the Environment Agency to look at protecting both the by way and the river.”
Essex Police has said officers will be reviewing footage of vehicles using the byway to see if any offences had occured.