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Off Road Motorbiking

What is Off Road Motorbiking?

Off-road motor biking involves riding motor bikes over land not intended for motor vehicles, it not only ruins grassland, but is also a source of great annoyance to members of the public causing both noise and environmental pollution. IIlegal Motorcycling has many negative consequences and inconsiderate biking gives all riders a bad name. Farmland is often ruined and the land owners can lose valuable income. The daily lives of many home owners are disrupted and this can cause additional stress.

Who is affected?

Home owners, Ramblers/Walkers Horse Riders,Wildlife,Cyclists, other Motor Cyclists, Recreation & Sports users,Botanists and Bird Watchers.

What does it cost?

The true cost is unknown however such activity will impact on our local economy, Health , Police and Environmental resources, there will also be the cost to the offender by way of fines and possible confiscation of such vehicles.

What help is available?

Law enforcement section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002 applies to two specific offences. Careless or inconsiderate riding/driving of a mechanically propelled vehicles on a road or public place.(Contary to Section 3 Road Traffic Act 1998 and shedule 2 Road traffic Offenders Act 1988)

Riding/Driving a mechanically propelled vehicle unlawfully on land not forming part of the road, such as common land,moorland,footpath or bridleway. (Contrary to section 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and Schedule 2 Road Traffic Offenders act 1988)

A Police Officer with reasonable grounds to believe that due care and attention is not being taken or that such vehicles are/have been ridden/driven elsewhere than on a road AND that the activity is causing alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public MAY stop a rider and following the issue of a warning seize and remove the vehicle.

Through information gathering Police together with other partners will seek to identify the offenders using resources available to them.

Once Offenders have been caught their motor cycles may be confiscated and they will be charged a recovery fee for their return. An additional storage fee will be charged for up to 21 days after which time the property will not be returned to the owner. Offenders will also be subject to Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) legislation.

Where such bikes are being ridden on land and the noise amounts to a statutory nuisance the Public Protection Department can take action against those individuals responsible for the noise by serving an abatement notice under section 80 of the Environmental Protection act 1990. Failure to comply can result in fines of up to £5,000 being imposed upon summary conviction. The Public Protection Department is also empowered to confiscate the vehicle for non compliance with the notice.

What is being done locally?

South Wales Police Schools Community Officers during the course of their visits to schools throughout the borough of Bridgend will raise awareness of the dangers and long-term affects of illegal scrambling. Local motorcycle dealerships can assist in providing health and safety information to riders. Petrol stations throughout the borough of Bridgend have been asked not to sell fuel to underage motorcylists. A more stringent all sales to persons who are filling portable containers.The circulation of information leaflets to raise awarness of this issue.

Further information?

Several options for an appropriate track within Bridgend are currently being investigated. Such a venue will play a major role in our campaign to make Bridgend an off road friendly county. It is hoped enthusiasts will have a purpose built course designed to meet the needs of even the most skilful riders with on-site workshops would be held to educate riders in all aspects of motorcycle ownership.

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South Wales Fire and Rescue Services carries out approximately 6000 Home Fire Safety Checks and fit approximately 12000 smoke alarms in homes throughout the area each year.