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Police issue warning after cyclist finds wire tied across forest trail

Officers have warned cyclists and walkers to be “extra vigilant” after the wire was found in the popular Cannock Chase forest in Staffordshire

Police in Staffordshire have issued a warning after a cyclist found a wire stretched across a trail at Brocton Coppice, in the popular Cannock Chase forest in Staffordshire.

In a statement released earlier today, officers say they received a report from a cyclist riding in Cannock Chase, a popular haunt for mountain bikers just north of Birmingham, concerning a wire that had been tied between a tree and a post, at “adult waist height”, across one of the forest’s paths yesterday.

Staffordshire Police said that the forest’s rangers have been informed of the apparent attempt at sabotage, which they noted “could cause serious injury to walkers, cyclists, children, horse riders or wildlife”, and that local officers are aware.

The statement also warned visitors to Cannock Chase to be “extra vigilant” when walking, cycling, or horse riding in the area, and to report any suspicious activity to Staffordshire Police on 101, using the reference 550 of 04/02/2023.

One Facebook user, commenting on the police’s post, claimed that “anti-cyclist signs have been erected” in the area in recent months, and that people opposed to cyclists in the forest “have decided to become vigilantes”.

“There are 3,000 acres of Cannock Chase,” the commenter noted. “Plenty of room for everyone to enjoy.”

> Wires strung across cycle trail in country park near New Forest – for second time in three years

Cyclists have long been the target of attempts at sabotage from locals unhappy at them using forest trails or paths, a phenomena that rose sharply during the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In June 2021, a nine-year-old boy sustained a neck injury after cycling into a rope stretched across a path in woodlands in Kent, causing him to fall off his bike, while a year earlier a mountain biker suffered a nasty wrist injury after riding into a metal wire strung across a West Yorkshire trail.

In May 2020, a cyclist riding in woods in Cleveland had both his tyres punctured after he rode across a wooden board with nails hammered into it that had been left as a trap for cyclists.

And later that month, two women in their sixties were spoken to by police after admitting placing rocks and branches on a path in North Yorkshire to stop cyclists from using it.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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14 comments

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Patrick9-32 | 1 year ago
11 likes

People caught doing this should be tried for attempted murder. They are setting traps with the intent to kill strangers. If they were doing this on a pavement in a town they would get lengthy prison sentences, not warnings. 

Avatar
essexian replied to Patrick9-32 | 1 year ago
6 likes

It would be quite impossible to do on pavements in my town which is just six miles from this incident...the cars driving on them to park would break the cables as quickly as they were put up.

(I do agree with your statement however).

Avatar
Secret_squirrel replied to Patrick9-32 | 1 year ago
2 likes

caught

(In fairness to the cops - even if this was done on a path in full view of CCTV its gonna be hard to catch someone - middle of the woods no chance).  Not that I think they will be investigating particularly hard.

Avatar
qwerty360 replied to Patrick9-32 | 1 year ago
1 like

Terrorism.

Laying traps to injure people for the purposes of achieving a political goal (banning/stopping cycling in the area)

I can't see how the definition isn't met...

Avatar
Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
1 like

Isnt this a semi-regular occurence there?  Or am I misremembering?

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Dicklexic replied to Secret_squirrel | 1 year ago
2 likes

Yes, and it's been happening at various spots around Cannock Chase for many many years. Way back in the early-mid 90s a friend of mine was injured after being ripped off his bike in the Stile Cop area.

Avatar
swldxer | 1 year ago
1 like

a phenomenON.

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Eton Rifle replied to swldxer | 1 year ago
1 like

Presumably "tired" in the headline should actually be "tied" as well.

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grOg replied to swldxer | 1 year ago
0 likes

plural noun: phenomena

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chrisonabike replied to grOg | 1 year ago
0 likes
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the little onion | 1 year ago
13 likes

Can Rod Little account for his whereabouts in the period leading up to this? And Matthew Parris?

Avatar
Simon E replied to the little onion | 1 year ago
4 likes

the little onion wrote:

Can Rod Little account for his whereabouts in the period leading up to this? And Matthew Parris?

They are cowards. They wouldn't actually do it, but they are quite happy for someone else to go ahead.

I'd quite like to see the perpetrator given a good hiding. I'd like to see arrogant shit-stirrers like Liddle and Parris obliged to include a fullsome apology at the beginning of every article they are paid handsomely to write (even IME most of them are so shit that I don't understand why anyone thinks they are worth publishing).

Avatar
Flintshire Boy replied to Simon E | 1 year ago
4 likes

.

Better that their apology was sincere, rather than fulsome.

.

Avatar
Simon E replied to Flintshire Boy | 1 year ago
3 likes

Flintshire Boy wrote:

.

Better that their apology was sincere, rather than fulsome.

.

I agree, that's a better word than I used.

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