Northampton residents take matters into own hands to stop 70mph motorcyclists

Residents who are fed up with nuisance motorbikes speeding down a Northampton bridleway have felled trees to try to stop them.

Wednesday, 19th October 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 6:14 pm
The bridleway between Hunsbury Hill and Sixfields is now daubed with graffiti warning people of the fast bikes.

For nine years, those living near the pedestrian route linking Hunsbury Hill Avenue to Sixfields have called for measures to stop people speeding along it.

The path has become a hotspot for motorbike misuse, with nearby residents regularly reporting balaclava-wearing riders speeding round the tight bends at high speeds.

In recent years, money has been spent on bollards and padlocked gates, but neither have approved effective.

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Now residents have decided to take matters into their own hands - chopping down branches to cover the bridleway and daubing the lane with their own signs, all in a bid to deter the riders.

The council has vowed to take action against the as-yet-unknown vigilantes, but Wrekin Close resident Paul Denton, whose house backs onto the bridle path, believes they are doing everyone a favour.

“I think they should carry on absolutely,” he said. “If the council are washing their hands of it, what else is there to do?

“These are desperate measures being taken by desperate residents, we have had enough.”

Mr Denton says the felled branches are appearing “almost every night” and seem to be halting the riders.

While calls have been made to put a permanent barrier in place to stop the bikes, Northampton Borough Council has maintained it cannot do so as a Sixfields landowner is entitled to vehicular access to the path.

Cabinet member for community safety at Northampton Borough Council, Councillor Mike Hallam, said: “We have spoken to the residents at Hunsbury Hill Avenue and understand their concerns. We continue to work alongside Northamptonshire Police to tackle to issue.

“The actions of the motorcyclists using the bridleway are illegal and so there are steps that can be taken to deal with the individuals involved.

“However the bridleway is a right of way and we cannot take any action that would prevent people who have right of access from using it.

“The Chronicle and Echo has brought to our attention allegations of which we were not previously aware, but we will be sure to investigate.”

Last week Northants Police launched Operation Neutrino, a bid to tackle nuisance motorbikes in the town.