North West Wales

Snowdon 4x4 drive was 'stupid', admits Craig Williams

The man who drove his 4x4 up Snowdon has described his actions as "unbelievably stupid".

Craig Williams, 39, of Gloucestershire, an out-of-work vehicle recovery technician, is accused of driving on moorland or common land.

He admits he "went into it blindly" and did not think about the risks until strong winds near the summit forced him to stop.

The vehicle has been transported down by the Snowdon Mountain Railway.

Mr Williams has been bailed to appear before Caernarfon magistrates on 16 September.

Mr Williams said: "There was no way after being buffeted left, right and centre that I had any intention of going any further until the wind died down.

"And then the service train went up and then it all went wrong then."

He said he stopped the vehicle near the rail track on Saturday believing it to be the safest place to stop it from being "blown off the ridge".

Officials had been working on how best to bring down the Vauxhall Frontera from the mountain when bad weather closed in on the 1,085m (3,560ft) peak, the highest in Wales and England.

It took three hours to load the truck onto a flat-bedded railway wagon on Thursday.

The vehicle had been broken into while parked near the summit and there was concern that someone may release the handbrake.

It was left about 365m (400 yards) from the summit by Mr Williams, who said he had undertaken the nine-hour drive on the spur of the moment.

He said he has spent the last five days walking up and down the mountain to try to keep the vehicle safe and it was then that he realised how dangerous the mountain could be.

"Now I walk it, I realise how unbelievably stupid it was," he said.

'Hands of the police'

"The idea was to drive up a mountain but that mountain has near enough killed me having to walk up and down it every single day."

A spokesman for the Snowdonia National Park Authority said members were "pleased that the vehicle driven up Snowdon at the weekend has now arrived safely at the bottom of the mountain".

"They are satisfied that the dangers and environmental implications associated with the act have been clearly expressed over the last few days," he added.

"The vehicle is currently under the care of the Snowdon Mountain Railway Company and the matter continues to be in the hands of the police."

Taking motorised vehicles up the slopes has been banned since the creation of the national park in 1951.

"I appreciate that regulations have to be put in place to stop this," he said.

It is not known whether Mr Williams will be billed for the cost of recovering his vehicle.

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