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Popular Narberth route to remain traffic-free after right of way claim dropped

Carding Mill Lane, a public bridleway in Narberth, is to remain traffic-free after local landowners dropped a claim that they had a right to drive motor vehicles on part of it.

Used by walkers, cyclists and horse-riders, Carding Mill Lane leaves Narberth Town Moor adjacent to the RAOB Club and links to Canaston Wood and beyond.

In January 2021 the owners of land that was previously part of Plas Farm claimed to have a right to drive vehicles on part of the lane, declaring what they believed to be a private right of way over it.

Pembrokeshire County Council did not accept the claimants had provided sufficient evidence of a private vehicular right of way and believed that the claimed right of way would be dangerous to the legitimate users of the bridleway.

Additionally part of Carding Mill Lane runs across local authority land, which also has bridleway and Village Green status.

Having gathered statements from a large number of residents, the Council put forward a case to the Land Registry and claimants of the vehicular right of way which was due to be heard at a Land Registry tribunal.

At the last minute the landowners withdrew from the tribunal, conceding no private right existed. The claimants agreed to pay £7,500 to the Council to cover the expense of its withdrawn application.

Cllr Marc Tierney, County Councillor for Narberth Urban, said: “Carding Mill Lane is an important and well used active travel gateway to and from Narberth. It is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

“Following action by the County Council this route will be protected for those who use it for walking, cycling and horse riding.  This is a positive outcome for local residents who, like me, have been concerned about vehicle access on the Lane itself.

“I’ll continue to seek improvements for the safety of walkers and cyclists through the Town Moor Car Park towards Carding Mill Lane which becomes increasingly busy over the summer period.”

“Public rights of way contribute to the health and well-being of resident communities and the wider population, as well as helping to support the local economy,” said Cllr Rhys Sinnett, Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services.

“As a local authority we play an important role in helping to protect and enhance these traffic-free routes, as guided by our published rights of way improvement plan.”

Mayor of Narberth, Cllr Elizabeth Rogers added: “Narberth Town Council are very glad that Carding Mill Lane is once more, safe for all users as it was always intended.”