A COUNCILLOR is taking on off-road bikers following a spike in nuisance reports.

Hilary Fairclough, councillor for Astley Bridge, said that she has been deluged with emails about the nuisance bikes in recent weeks and has subsequently contacted the police to deal with the situation.

The bikes have been causing noise problems for residents in the area, while there have also been reports of dangerous driving and fields and parks being damaged.

Cllr Fairclough said: "I have been in contact with the police for quite some time and we did have a meeting about off-road bikers about 12 months ago, which included other councillors and local schools, because it was an issue then.

"Over the last weekend, I must have received half a dozen or so complaints from people who have had to listen to them at all hours and said to me that they were sick of the bikes."

Cllr Fairclough said that people had told her that their roads "sounded like a race track" and that they were "at their wits end" due to the constant noise.

And while she said that she didn't want to be a killjoy and appreciated it was usually just children messing about, she wanted them to realise the dangers involved.

She added: "I wouldn't mind if they were in a designated area or some place like that but they are going in streets, on parks and in fields. At the end of the day, they are stopping others from having fun, going out and playing football, cricket or walking their dog.

"If they cause an accident for themselves, that's bad enough, but it's terrible for some poor person who does have insurance and gets hit when they're speeding down a road."

Greater Manchester Police's website states that while quad bikes, three-wheeled bikes, trail bikes and some other two-wheeled vehicles are built for off-road use, "it is against the law to ride them in public parks or on publicly-owned land without permission from the local authority."

As with unlicensed powered vehicles, they can only be used on private roads or land with the road or land-owner’s permission.

Cllr Fairclough added that she thinks people should continue to report any incidents to the police and the council, to stress the nuisance of the bikers.

She said: "The most important thing for people to do - and I know a lot of people don't always want to - but it is to report them. If the council or the police receive a lot of reports then they will notice the spike and they will react to it."