Balaclava-wearing bikers are speeding down Northampton bridle path at 70mph
A Northampton man says it is only a matter of time before someone is killed on a problem bridle path being used as a rat run for motorbikes and criminals.
For nine years, residents living near the bridle path linking Hunsbury Hill Avenue to Sixfields have called for measures to be put in place to stop people speeding along the popular walking route on bikes.
In recent years, money has been spent on bollards and padlocked gates along the route, known as Highway 36.
But this week the padlocks have been removed on the gates and a set of bollards have been pulled out of their holdings.
Speaking at Monday night’s full council meeting, Hunsbury Hill Avenue resident Paul Denton, said the current measures are proving ineffective and called on the council to reinstall the motorbike deterrents.
He said: “It has been plagued with illegal motorcycle activity.
“A mother and baby were struck by a bike and a man wearing a balaclava travelling at 70 miles per hour.
“It is regularly used for serious crime as a getaway route.
“The lane was used after an armed hold up of Sainsbury’s a while back. A cash point was stolen and found down there.
“It can’t be right that pedestrians and children are expected to share a footpath with motorbikes.”
Earlier this week three padlocks holding a set of yellow bollards in place were removed and the bollards tossed into the undergrowth.
During the meeting, Mr Denton said Northamptonshire County Council had told him it could take up to three months to replace them.
Though Councillor Julie Davenport, (Lab, and Delapre Briar Hill) says she has secured funding to place two more barriers along the lane, to deter the riders.
In a pre-prepared question to cabinet member for community safety Anna King, Councillor Davenport asked what was being done, with police, to tackle the bridle path riders.
In response, Councillor King said: “We are currently liaising with police on off-road motorcycle issues, and are in the process of designing warning signage for the hot spot locations around town.
The police are also deploying their off-road motorcycle officers in these locations in order to disrupt and deter, and if required take relevant enforcement action.