Monday, 5 March 2007

Mini-Motorbikes

One of the major complaints I am hearing on the doorsteps and in surveys regards mini-motorbikes. It is quite clear that when youngsters drive these bikes up and down alleyways, roads or through fields the noise can be incredibly loud and highly annoying.

So this evening it was interesting to read the debate in Parliament last Friday proposing registration of mini-motos. A new piece of legislation was being introduced (although is unlikely to become law) but whilst it is admirable that this extremely important issue was raised, the answer to the problem is not more legislation but enforcement of existing legislation. The Conservative Transport Spokesman Owen Paterson listed the powers already available including the Road Traffic Act 1988; the Police Reform Act 2002; the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003; the Environmental Protection Act 1990; and even the Criminal Damage Act 1971.

The Motorcycle Industry Association estimates that there are 300,000 mini-motos in circulation around the country. Different councils have experimented with measures to combat the illegal and annoying use of bikes. Medway Council and Tonbridge & Malling Council have worked closely with Kent police over the past year to combat the problem, and with some success. More undoubtedly needs to be done, otherwise the complaints from the doorsteps and surveys would cease, but the resource needs to be made available for existing legislation to be enforced. I intend to campaign for this problem to be dealt with for the peace of residents in Chatham & Aylesford.

If you are having or have had a problem with mini-motorbikes in your area, please feel free to write to me at 200 Canterbury Road, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 5XG

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