Barbara Keeley MP

LABOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR WORSLEY AND ECCLES SOUTH

A Bill to stop off-road bike nuisance introduced to Parliament by Barbara

news96Barbara has introduced a Bill into Parliament calling for the registration of off-road bikes to be made compulsory and retrospective.

The Bill calls for all Off-Road Motorcycles to be registered to help the police to enforce the law when bikes are being ridden illegally or dangerously.

Over 26,000 complaints were received by Greater Manchester Police on off-road nuisance in the twelve months leading up to July this year and the MEN have run a campaign to stop the danger from the bikes. Now, Barbara is supporting calls from the Greater Manchester Police Authority for the registration of all off-road bikes.

Barbara feels that recent incidents show that the irresponsible use of bikes in her constituency is dangerous to both riders and pedestrians and local people have told the Worsley MP how they have been plagued by bike noise throughout the summer and autumn.

In her speech Barbara mentioned a range of the problems caused, including death and injury to pedestrians and bike riders and she described two local cases in Little Hulton where off-road bikers caused damage to a vehicle, churned up a football pitch and caused brought young football players into danger and stopped them training.

Barbara said:

“I agreed some months ago to support the Greater Manchester police authority’s ‘Stop off-road motorcycle nuisance’ campaign, which has been ably supported by a campaign in the Manchester Evening News.

“During the summer and autumn months, my constituents were affected badly by noise nuisance and damage to land and property, and were put in physical danger by the reckless, dangerous and illegal use of off-road bikes.

“Those who live near open land, canal banks, football fields or even local parks can be affected by the relentless noise nuisance generated by off-road bikes ridden across these places.

“Sadly, we now have the concept of the “hit-and-run” off-road biker. A police officer in Greater Manchester was injured when he was knocked off his bike and ridden over by an off-road biker riding in a gang of 20 such bikes on a public footpath. Pedestrians aged from 14 to 77 have also been injured in collisions with off-road bikers, and a 16-year-old cyclist from Greater Manchester died after a collision with an-off-road bike.

“So off-road bikers can cause death and injury to others, but they are also at risk themselves. I am saddened whenever I drive past a particular lamp post in my constituency, which is strewn with floral tributes to the young man aged 18 who died there last year when the off-road bike that he was riding along the pavement hit the lamp post. In Greater Manchester alone, one teenage rider per month dies as a result of riding off-road bikes illegally or dangerously.

“Mr. Les Higgins coaches a junior football team in Little Hulton, in my constituency, and on many occasions the team could not continue with their practice or play on the football pitch due to being ridden at by off-road bikes. The bikes, which were often ridden by two or three young people at a time, were ridden at the young football players, with the riders only swerving at the last minute.

“Mrs. Renee Cavanaugh, who also lives in Little Hulton, has been plagued by the nuisance from off-road bikes being ridden at the rear of her property, sometimes from as early as 8 am on weekends. Damage was also caused to her car when an off-road bike ran into it. Those riding such bikes illegally in this way are uninsured, so people whose land or vehicles are damaged by these riders have no source of redress.

“In a month in which we have heard so much about the nuisance of off-road bikes, I hope that I have helped to convince the House that it is time we stopped that nuisance by bringing in a mandatory and retrospective registration scheme.”

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