MONMOUTH Assembly Member Nick Ramsay has welcomed news that Natural Resources Wales (NRW) are liaising with emergency services to ascertain their preferred route to Pen Y Fan.
Raising the issue in the Assembly last week, Mr Ramsay said he had been contacted by a number of constituents from the villages of Cleddon and Maryland expressing serious concerns that barriers erected by NRW were blocking off well used access routes through the woodland.
The boulders had been erected to address anti social behaviour, including 4×4 off-roading.
Speaking today, Mr Ramsay said:
“Local people have relied on these woodland paths for many years and were shocked by the erection of barriers, with access for emergency vehicles of particular concern.
“NRW say that while they understand how residents living in the Pen Y Fan community might find the barriers inconvenient, it would not be appropriate to allow them to continue to use the forest road. They are encouraging local residents to direct concerns about the public highway to Pen Y Fan village to Monmouthshire County Council’s Highways department. NRW also say they are willing to consider issuing annual vehicle permission to those local residents in Pen Y Fan who could provide evidence that they may have reasonable cause to request such permission on occasion. Unless in the case of an emergency, they would not encourage ambulances to leave the public highway and travel along unsuitably maintained forest roads.
“This is clearly an issue which has caused a good deal of distress and a feeling that NRW have acted in a cavalier manner by blocking off these historic routes.
I have asked what guidelines are in place to ensure residents are fully involved should any similar changes be proposed in the future.
“In the meantime, I look forward to hearing the outcome of the discussions which NRW are having with the emergency services.”