Rogue riders are on wrong track

Councillor Dennis Maddison near the bridge that lead to Limekiln Gill.

Councillor Dennis Maddison near the bridge that lead to Limekiln Gill.

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EFFORTS are being ramped up to tackle nuisance off-road bikes amid fears that rogue riders could kill or injure someone.

Durham Constabulary and the Safe Durham Partnership say they have received “constant” calls over problem bikes plaguing estates, coastal paths and nature reserves.

The partnership has received funding for the force’s motorcycle section to target the bikers further, but are calling for more residents to report the sightings of the riders so they can be caught.

Dennis Maddison, Durham county councillor for Horden, said: “They are racing about on the countryside tracks and beach banks at 60 to 70mph. It’s frightening, especially when people are walking their dogs.

“Somebody’s going to get killed. It’s just not safe.

“I saw four or five bikers together in a convoy wearing ski masks just the other day, and one young lady last week was riding with a young child on the handlebars. I couldn’t believe it.”

He said the main hot spots where the bikes are causing most problems in Horden are the Pony Fields area and Limekiln Gill.

Safe Durham Partnership bosses added the problem appears to be in areas where there are cycle tracks, such as Shotton’s former railway line.

Pc Gary Ward, of Durham Constabulary’s motorcyle section, said: “We are out there and we will continue with the patrol.

“When we catch people we will take the necessary action which can lead to prosecution and bikes being seized and crushed. but if people don’t ring us on 101, we won’t know where there are problems.”