New fencing installed at popular green space to ward off nuisance off-road bikers

A popular green space has been fenced off, in a bid to prevent illegal off-road bikers riding on the area.

By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 7th October 2021, 11:10 am

Off-road motorcycles have been using the grassed area off Roundwood Way in darfield, sparking complaints from residents fed up of the noise, litter and pollution.

The open space is popular with dog walkers and youngsters, and the off-road bikers have prompted safety concerns from residents.

Councillor Trevor Smith, who represents the Darfield ward, said that the number of off-road bikers has “vastly increased” during the coronavirus pandemic.

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L-R Coun Trevor Smith, coun Pauline Markham and coun Kevin Osborne.

It is hoped that the fencing will deter off-road bikers from using the green space, and help police catch them.

“The fence has been erected in response to lots of complaints,” said Coun Smith.

“[the complaints] have increased over the years, but during covid they have vastly increased.

“I have been driven at, they narrowly missed my dog.”

“The police are very proactive, they have scrapped dozens of off-road bikes, and we hope to scrap dozens more.”

Councillor Smith says the fencing is part of a wider scheme of improvements in Darfield, which will include CCTV in anti-social behaviour hotspots.

Councillor Kevin Osborne, who also represents Darfield, said: “We have seen an increase in off road biking in general, and the mess they leave behind.

“They are riding on the pavement, seemingly with impunity, churning up football fields and riding on children’s play areas.

“It’s purely selfish.

“[the fencing] makes it a little bit harder for them to ruin things for everyone else – it’s a pity public money had to be spent on a physical barrier.

“I would urge residents to report off-road biking as a crime to South Yorkshire Police. Only by raising it as a crime to the police allocate resources.

“People who are determined to ruin things for people in Darfield should face the full force of the law.”