Trail­bik­ers wreak havoc on Porirua re­serve land

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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