Council seeking to solve off road biking problems

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Ballymena Borough Council could solve the problem of scramblers and quads being recklessly ridden through ecos park by providing somewhere else for them to go, Cllr Beth Adger has said.

Last month, fears were expressed in the community that someone could be seriously injured following a dramatic increase in reckless behaviour by young people misusing off road vehicles on paths not just at ecos but also in nearby Ballykeel.

The upsurge in reports of such incidents to neighbourhood police officers prompted a stern warning from Ballymena PSNI stating that they would take action, including the seizure of vehicles involved.

However, Cllr Beth Adger, told last Monday night’s monthly Council meeting, that access to a field could be all that was needed.

“These young lads have nowhere to go,” she said.

“As a council we should be providing something or at least looking at a field. If we provide something it would take them off the ecos.”

Cllr Adger said she had spoken to police earlier in the day and that they were supportive of the idea. She said she now planned to talk to farmers in the area to gauge opinion.

“It’s a phase young people go through. They need somewhere to let off a bit of steam,” said Cllr Adger.

“Maybe clamping down on them all the time is not the answer. I just hope they don’t have to wait as long as they have for a skateboard park,” she added.

Acting Town Clerk & Chief Executive Rodger McKnight said he would have officers investigate the feasibility of any options and report back to Council with the findings.

Since the reported rise in incidents at ecos, Mr McKnight said PSNI officers had paid over 100 visits over a three week period as part of high visibility patrolling and that they would be continuing such activity in the area.

Cllr Declan O’Loan commented: “It’s an important matter - it’s a recurring problem. Enforcement around the issue is the key way forward.”