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Rochdale Liberal Democrats

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Rochdale Council votes to get tough on anti-social off road bikers!

October 17, 2006 12:00 AM
Councillor Alan Taylor backs the campaign against Off Road Bikers - He is pictured with Party President Simon Hughes MP

Councillor Alan Taylor backs the campaign against Off Road Bikers - He is pictured with Party President Simon Hughes MP

Rochdale Council has backed the campaign for a new registration scheme that would require all off-road bikes to be registered with the DVLA. The Council have a passed a Motion at their Full Council Meeting that also call for 'appropriate, clear signage on hotspots across Heywood, Middleton, Pennines and Rochdale that would constitute as a warning and enable police to have tougher powers to confiscate straight away when catching offenders.

Local MP and Lib Dem Shadow Transport Spokesman Paul Rowen told the meeting, "It is vital as a Council that we campaign on the issues important to local people, on the doorstep - this is one of the biggest complaints we get and the motion sets out to tackle this issue. We would encourage Councils across Greater Manchester to follow Rochdale's example and pass a similar motion. It is important to note that not all off road bikers are irresponsible so all authorities, instead of burying our head in the sand. We need to work together as authorities and identify some sort of provision in Greater Manchester. It is high time we reclaimed our parks, open spaces and streets!"

Councillors from all parties spoke of the complaints they receive about the 'anti-social use of off road bikes.' Heywood Lib Dem Councillor - Peter Rush who proposed the motion acknowledged that not all bikers are anti-social, however, those that are he said are "causing damage to parks and open spaces and badly affecting the quality of life of residents not just in Heywood but across the country." He asked for clear signs to be erected warning bikers in order that the police could use existing powers to confiscate bikes."

Council Leader - Councillor Alan Taylor said, "After 9 years of a Labour Government we are finally seeing some positive action. I would like to see Rochdale Council get tougher on this very serious issue. I would like to see the Council to have the power to seize and crush these vehicles. It seems ridiculous that we have to rely on the police, who are unable to make this their number 1 priority because of funding shortfalls. I am asking the residents of Rochdale to contact the Council and let us know where the hotspots are. The Police Reform Act needs toughening up - police need more power to seize and destroy these dangerous bikes for the good of the people of Greater Manchester and for the good of the people destroying our parks and open spaces. Until then, I hope that the clear signage will constitute as a warning and enable police to confiscate straight away."