Up to 17 off-road bikers at a time causing 'horrendous' damage in Hapton, say residents

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Hapton residents say they are being plagued by up to 17 off-road bikers at a time causing “horrendous” damage to the land.

Friends of the Hapton Inn, a community group, said off-road bikers from all over the North tear down Hameldon Hill, and along Lancaster Drive, Hameldon Road and Burnley Lane, some without number plates or helmets, at all hours of the day every weekend.

The group says some of the bikers speed up to 70mph and churn up the moors, leave behind rubbish and upset grazing animals.

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“It’s absolutely horrendous, the damage they have done. It’s not an hour at a time: they’re going up and down all day long. Trying to tackle them is impossible.

Two off-road motorbikes. (Credit: Lancashire Police)Two off-road motorbikes. (Credit: Lancashire Police)
Two off-road motorbikes. (Credit: Lancashire Police)

"The problem has snowballed quickly in the past six months. It has gone from one or two bikers to 17. Some of them don’t care and can be disgraceful. They rip the lands apart, and have no regard for people or animals.”

One resident added: “I have never seen anything so disgusting in my life.

Meanwhile, another claims they saw “five off-road electric bikers in balaclavas just laughing at us”.

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Their concerns, expressed at a community meeting last week at Hapton Inn, follow two serious incidents in Burnley within two days in March when riders collided with passers-by, injuring a 13-year-old girl in the first and killing an elderly man in the second. Bart O’Hare (86) died from his injuries in hospital following a collision in Accrington Road.

Coun. Jamie McGowan, who represents Hapton with Park, called the increased number of off-road bikers in the area “next level”, adding: "It’s a dangerous thing. The last thing we want to see is a serious incident happen here.”

He urges residents to report anti-social riding to the police on 101 to help build a picture of hotspots. He also said that the police are putting signs up in the area warning people against off-road riding. Officers also seized two motorbikes plus a van used to transport them, with the rider being reported for licence and insurance offences.

Coun. McGowan added: “My approach would be seizing bikes because that would be better a deterrent. Then the message will get out to the biking community: come here and you’ll get your things taken off you.”

We have contacted the police for comment.