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Stop using our Open Spaces as a Racetrack

August 11, 2005 12:45 PM
The problem of Off Road Biking needs to be tackled head on says Cllr. Wera Hobhouse.

The problem of Off Road Biking needs to be tackled head on says Cllr. Wera Hobhouse.

Councillor Wera Hobhouse has praised Greater Manchester Police after 11 bikers were fined in clampdown on off-road nuisance. Wera has joined with Councillors Jean Ashowrth and Brenda Kerslake in trying to find a suitable place for sensible off road bikers in the Rochdale Borough. She has issued the following statement:

I would firstly like to congratulate to the Greater Manchester Police for tackling this problem head on. I hope that the 11 bikers who were fined and the further 26 that were warned of their behaviour will think twice before they rampage across Rochdale's open spaces. I hope that the publicity that this police action attracted will send a clear message to people thinking of taking off-road bikes onto our open spaces illegally. I would encourage anybody who sees or hears them to report the matter to the police, this would then help to identify more hotspots for future police operations.

I know for a fact that off road biking on Knowl Hill and the surrounding Moors is a major problem - it is not just the danger that they create for people out walking - but also the noise they cause that is a problem. Our countryside is being slowly destroyed by irresponsible off road bikers, as are many of our parks and other open spaces.

I mention "irresponsible" off-road bikers - because I know that many of our young people enjoy the sport of off-road motorcycling. The majority of people who enjoy this sport do so responsibly - it is the minority that don't that I want to send a clear message to - If you use our parks, moors and other open spaces illegally for this pursuit you will pay the consequences.

Sometimes in politics it's easy to just stand at the sidelines and moan about problems such as this. Responsible politics is all about identifying problems and dealing with them. That is why I am delighted to join my colleagues - Cllrs. Jean Ashworth and Brenda Kerslake in pushing for a track for this sport in the Rochdale Borough. Those who cause misery by riding anti-socially will then have no argument about being treated with zero-tolerance by our police.

Cllr. Wera Hobhouse

Lib Dem Councillor for Norden

Carr Hill House, Shawclough Road,

Rochdale OL12 6LG

Tel: (01706) 632904