Trailbikers wreak havoc on Porirua reserve land
Trailbikers are fast turning Ascot Park into skid row, leading police and the city council to call on the community to help stem the scourge.
Porirua City Council staff have noticed an increase in motorbike use in city reserves, such as Bothamley and Cannons Creek parks, but most prominently at Ascot Park. Complaints from residents and sports clubs have increased in the past months. And it’s likely to continue into the summer, says PCC parks and reserves manager Bill Inge.
‘‘ The longer days and warmer weather has again brought out a core group of young trailbike riders who know they should not be riding in this park, but persist anyway,’’ he says.
Under the PCC bylaw, it is illegal to ride a motorbike on any council park or sportsfield.
It is not a new problem. Ascot Park resident Sue Mercer notified Kapi-Mana News in 2007 and 2008 about the ‘‘almost daily’’ races up and down the park.
She says after a stressful day at work the ‘‘ astonishing noise’’ is very hard to bear and her neighbours, some with young babies and children, feel the same.
‘‘When I get home I’m so tense just waiting for them [the trailbikes] to start up. It’s really irresponsible and disre- spectful, they need somewhere else to race their bikes.’’
Members of the public recently followed a trailbike rider home, after he had ripped up the grass at Onepoto Park in Titahi Bay, and were able to pass his address onto police. He was fined $600. Mr Inge hopes for similar assistance to stamp the problem out in Porirua East. The council has improved fencing but needs locals to contact police as soon as they see riders on the park.
PCC parks supervisor John Callahan can recount several near misses between PCC staff using mowers and trailbikers, and knows how frustrated residents, rugby league and kilikiti players are becoming.
Spring is key time for parks workers, who are trying to repair grass following the winter sports season.
‘‘We’ve had a rough winter and there’s been a lot of pressure on our sportsgrounds already. Then these guys come out, hoon around and churn up the grass, doing donuts, and residents and park users are going mad because of the screaming twostroke engines. It’s just really frustrating for everyone.’’
Kapiti Mana police area commander John Spence says police will give greater priority to trying to catch the culprits.
‘‘We agree this is getting out of hand and these youngsters on trailbikes are notoriously difficult to catch. That’s why we would welcome any information from the community about the identity of these people and we will be knocking on their doors.’’
He says parents need to take some action if they believe their kids are doing the damage.
Mr Callahan says while there are not designated places for trailbikers and minibikers to ride in Porirua, ‘‘ we’re always open to suggestions’’ from the public.
Leaving their mark: Trailbikes have no place on Porirua’s green areas, says the city council’s parks supervisor John Callahan, who is sick of having to fix damaged grass which needs to recover after heavy winter sports use.