'Dangerous' and illegal motorcyclists in Harrogate targeted by police campaign

The problem is causing a danger to users of the Nidderdale Greenway paths including walkers and cyclists.
The problem is causing a danger to users of the Nidderdale Greenway paths including walkers and cyclists.

Motorbike drivers who ride illegally through public places are being targeted in a joint campaign to protect pedestrians and cyclists in Harrogate.

The last two weeks has seen a spate of incidents where motorbikes and mini-motos have been driven on the Nidderdale Greenway, causing danger to walkers and cyclists on the paths.

But now North Yorkshire Police and Harrogate District Community Safety Hub have launched a campaign asking for the public’s help to report such incidents.

Councillor Mike Chambers, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for Safer Communities, said: “Riding these bikes on the cycle path and surrounding woods and fields can be dangerous to the rider, and to members of the public and their dogs.

"Fences are being torn down which then need to be repaired which proves costly to the public purse. This campaign aims to educate both the riders themselves and the public of the dangers of this behaviour.”

It is illegal to ride an off-road motorbike or mini-moto in a public place unless it is on the road, taxed, insured, fully roadworthy, displaying a suitable registration plate, the rider has a license and is wearing a helmet.

The campaign aims to advise the public on how they can report incidents of motorbike riding on the cycle way.

Members of the public are encouraged to take down the registration number of the vehicle, the make, model and colour of the bike and a description of the rider.

However, the public are urged not to confront the rider.

Temporary Sergeant Amanda Hanusch-Moore of North Yorkshire Police said: “I would urge local residents to call and let us know whenever they witness youths riding off-road bikes so that we can build up a picture of the full extent of the problem and respond appropriately.

“This is clearly anti-social behaviour which causes a real nuisance to people using the Greenway and sometimes puts them at risk of being injured themselves by the riders’ irresponsible driving.”

Posters are being placed at the entrances to the cycle path urging users to report these incidents.

Information will also be distributed to areas where it is known that motor bikes and mini-motos are currently being ridden illegally.

Reports should be made by phoning North Yorkshire Police on 101.