Barbara has welcomed the Government’s commitment to extend action to tackle the misuse of off road bikes.
Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick told a committee of MPs including Barbara that the Government will create a special taskforce to identify solutions to the problem of off road nuisance and introduce any missing powers. The move follows Barbara’s year-long campaign for a mandatory off road vehicle registration scheme, which has involved the Greater Manchester Police Authority, local media, and several of her fellow MPs.
Barbara introduced a bill calling for more powers to tackle off road nuisance last November after receiving a number of complaints from her constituents, and has spoken on the issue several times in the House of Commons. Mr Fitzpatrick’s commitment came while meeting the committee of MPs to consider measures proposed by Blackley MP Graham Stringer, who recently introduced a similar bill.
“This is a very important step forward. The misuse of off road bikes is a big issue locally, and I have been working since last summer to get the Government to address the problem. Greater Manchester Police have done a great job of cracking down on the nuisance by seizing nearly 100 bikes and issuing official warnings to over 200 offenders. But the police say they don’t have enough powers to tackle the cause of the problem, and I am glad the Government has pledged to review the powers available to police and local authorities.
"I will make sure that the taskforce hears the concerns of people in Worsley, and I will continue to campaign on this issue.”
During the committee meeting, Mr Stringer praised Barbara for the work she has done on the issue.
“I pay particular tribute to my Honourable Friend the Member for Worsley (Barbara Keeley) who, as she said, introduced a ten-minute Bill and has spoken eloquently and passionately on the matter a number of times.”