Words: John Baron
A raft of measures are needed to clamp down on anti-social behaviour by quad and off-road bikers, councillors have said.
Members of the Outer West Community Committee agreed to look into a project working with police and other partners to set up operations on specific days to ‘blitz’ problems with anti-social behaviour in both rural and built-up areas.
They also agreed to look into funding quad bike barriers on Woodhall Road to prevent damage to Calverley and Woodhall golf clubs, and at Calverley Woods, where it joins Ravenscliffe in Bradford.
“We’ve found some pretty intimidating individuals wearing black balaclavas threatening residents,” Councillor Amanda Carter (Cons, Calverley & Farsley) told the Outer West Community Committee meeting.
She said anti-social behaviour had increased through lockdown and feared it was ‘only a matter of time before we get another serious accident’.
Councillor David Blackburn (Green, Farnley & Wortley) pointed to problems in more built up areas in his ward and added:
“A few years ago we had a purge over a couple of weekends with police. If could get something together to do that I am sure it would help.”
He said having a ‘blitz’ with potential partner agencies ‘might bear some real fruit’ and lead to the confiscation of some of the quad bikes.
Cllr Andrew Carter (Cons, Calverley & Farsley) spoke of quad and off-road bikers ‘tearing up Farsley Town Street’. He added:
“We have got to do something about it. these people are creating massive anti-social issues. I wouldn’t recommend anyone trying to tackle them as they can be pretty unpleasant to say the least. They create dangers to pedestrians, children and themselves.”
He said patrols from parks and countryside come from a small team in East Leeds and that the bikers have ‘not only gone but are probably out of the county leaving a trail of destruction behind them’ by the time enforcement arrives.
Cllr Trish Smith (Cons, Pudsey) spoke of issues in both Sykes Wood and in the Fulneck valley. She added:
“Something needs to be done very drastically and very quickly. We are all busting a gut to protect our environment and these people are essentially destroying it in front of our eyes.
“We have some really angry residents in Fulneck down in the valley where quads come in a pincer movement from Scholebrook Lane and from the Bradford area. We need help to tackle it.”
The Outer West Community Committee is made up of nine councillors – three from each ward – Calverley & Farsley, Farnley & Wortley and Pudsey. The committee consists of five Conservative councillors, three Green and one Labour.
Watch the full Outer West Committee meeting held at Leeds Civic Hall yesterday here: