They can be a menace to the community and wreak havoc on the environment, but one Penrith Councillor is proposing a creative solution to tackle illegal trail bike riders.
Deputy Mayor Tricia Hitchen has requested Council look at the feasibility of providing a local trail bike park in the wake of recent hoon activity.
“Like a number of Councillors, I’ve been receiving complaints about trail bike riders, particularly in Robin Wiles Park in North St Marys,” she said during last week’s Council meeting.
“And I understand the problem is magnified because the kids are working from home and it will be school holidays soon.
“But this Council is always a bit on the front foot in providing areas for sport, and I’m just wondering if there is anywhere in the Council that would be suitable for these kids to ride their trail bikes legally, and that way they wouldn’t be tearing up our parks and soccer fields.”
Council has not identified areas for a trail bike park, a Council spokesman said on Tuesday, adding it would require “a substantial parcel of suitable land in a location that does not affect residential properties and is considerate of environmental impacts”.
“We share the concerns of the community and the impacts to bushland, sports grounds and reserves through illegal trail bike riding,” he said.
“Council works with the local police command to deter hoon activity through the installation of signage, bollards to prevent access to reserves and targeting problem areas through letterbox drops to not only deter riders but to increase reporting to police.”
The spokesman said volunteers, who maintain community spaces, were particularly impacted by the “mindless actions of a small minority”.
“The cost to the community comes in many forms,” he said.
“The main ones being danger to other users of the open space and impact on local residents, as well as environmental damage and the cost of repairs and rehabilitation of bush areas, sports fields and reserves, which spoil the enjoyment of these areas by others and disrupts the use of facilities for sport.”
Riding unregistered motorbikes on public land attracts heavy penalties including fines and has been a huge police focus in recent times.
“When riders are detected breaking the law, police will take appropriate action by issuing infringements, charges, suspending licences and seizing bikes,” a Police Media spokeswoman said.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Emily covers general news and politics for the Weekender.