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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 August, 2003, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
Noise nuisance from bikers
Bikers at the Lady Windsor site, Ynysybwl
Gangs of bikers use the site regularly
Off-road motorcyclists are causing a major headache for people living near sites where bikers go to ride.

Vans carrying the bikes and riders are travelling to areas in Rhondda Cynon Taf, in the south Wales valleys, to use land on former colliery sites and woodland areas to ride around.

Many of the people living in the towns where the riders congregate are annoyed with the noise and mess generated by the bikers.

Hermione Bruton runs a bed and breakfast close to the Lady Windsor site in Ynysybwl, near Pontypridd, which is popular with bikers despite signs warning people not to use motorbikes there.

She has become frustrated by the problem.

"I have had enough - there is constant noise" she said.

"They come up here in vans and offload bikes they are carrying onto the site and spend most of the day here.

Hermione Bruton
Hermione Bruton is annoyed with the noise from the bikes

"I have telephoned the police and the council on several occasions, but neither of them wants to take responsibility for who deals with the problem," she said.

Ynysybwl councillor Brian Arnold, who is also chairman of the council, said it was a problem throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf.

"We have had many meetings with the police about it, but it is not an easy problem to deal with.

"The council has said that if we have firm evidence of who the people are, we will take action against them."

He said it was hard to identify riders - who come from as far away as Swindon - because many wore full face helmets and did not have registration plates.

"You have to recognise that there is a demand for off-roading but it is not acceptable on sites next to people's houses.

"The people living in Robert Street and New Road in Ynysybwl must be going through hell because the bikes make a terrible noise.

A hill in the Lady Windsor site
The bikers have churned up areas in the Lady Windsor site

"And on the site, there has been a lot of work creating walk ways and picnic areas which has all been destroyed by the bikes which churn it all up," he added.

"Obstacles have had to be put up to try and prevent the bikes from getting to these areas but the obstacles also prevent disabled access which is not acceptable.

"The riders either don't understand what sort of problems they are causing or don't want to understand," he added.

His comments were echoed by David Hart from the Merthyr and Rhondda Cynon Taf Groundwork Trust, who have been involved in regenerating the area including providing disabled access.

"We seem to be fighting a losing battle," he said.

"It is becoming a Mecca for off road scramblers, but we need to ensure that everyone can use these sites," he added.

South Wales Police have said that they want the public to suggest ways in which to find a long term solution to deal with the problem.

Chief Inspector Clive Perry said it got worse during the foot and mouth crisis which prevented bikers from using agricultural land.

Sign at the Lady Windsor site, Ynysybwl

"It is a complex issue and yes, we can go to places to disrupt the activity there, but they will only move to another area."

"We need a long term solution to this and want people to come to us with their suggestions to help solve this issue," he said.

South Wales Police is holding an open meeting with the council and the public in order to try and resolve the problem in Pontypridd police station on 26 August.


SEE ALSO:
Motorbikes 'ruin woodland glade'
28 Sep 02  |  England


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