PLANS to crack down on dangerous motorbike use on a popular path have been given the go-ahead by senior councillors.

Flintshire Council's cabinet members met on Tuesday (January 16) to discuss an update on access barriers on the Wales Coast Path.

A report to the cabinet proposed improvements to the access points around the Saltney footbridge area, including a 'radar lockable gate' to tackle the issue of vehicles illegally accessing the path and posing a serious risk to members of the public.

Once installed, it will be reviewed after six months to understand its effectiveness or control of illegal activities and problems experienced by legitimate users.

The report stated the scheme "does allow for access for those with a radar key " but that the option will "still present access problems in terms of key operation and manoeuvrability."

Cllr David Healey, cabinet member for climate change and economy, said: "This is not an easy issue - there's no easy solution to it.

"On one hand, there are those who very much favour disabled access without any inhibitions whatsoever.

"Then there are the others who really see the need for some control to prevent the misuse of it by county lines gang members on motorbikes.

"The radar gate might be a compromise."

The Leader: Wales Coast Path in the Saltney Ferry Footbridge area (Google). Inset, a motorbike (Canva)Wales Coast Path in the Saltney Ferry Footbridge area (Google). Inset, a motorbike (Canva) (Image: Google/Canva)

Chief planning officer Andrew Farrow said: "We're not going to please everyone with this.

"It was discussed in scrutiny and the vote was six to three in favour of moving forward - views against it were vociferous."

Shotton West Councillor Sean Bibby, cabinet member for housing and regeneration, told the meeting: "I do believe there needs to be a compromise - we need to do what we can to ensure disabled people can enjoy the coastal path.

"However we have a significant problem with motorbikes and unauthorised vehicles creating danger by their use on the cycle path.

"We're fully aware from North Wales Police that it is being used for very 'nefarious' purposes - suspected county lines drug dealing operations are using it."

Queensferry and Sealand councillor Christine Jones, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for social services and wellbeing, said: "I fully endorse what Sean just said - we both experience these issues being on the Deeside strip.

"These paths are so well used and access for people with disabilities is paramount - but safety is also paramount.

"Everyone needs to be safe and when you get motorbikes coming on there, believe you me; it's not safe.

"This is the best compromise and it is being reviewed in six months, so let's hope it does work for everyone.

"You're always going to have someone who will be upset when things change, but let's hope this time we please as many people as possible."

The cabinet voted to follow the recommendation set out in the report; namely to note the feedback on the proposed access improvements and the potential risks to the Authority, as well as agreeing to the proposed improvements.