Youths who own quad bikes and other mini motor vehicles have been urged to join a pioneering new project after complaints in the Ballymagroarty/ Hazelbank area.
Sinn Féin Councillor Eric McGinley encouraged young people from the two estates to now join the recently established North West Community Motorcycle Project (NWCMP).
Speaking about the problems being faced by residents in the community, Colr. McGinley said: “From the Christmas period there has been an increase in the numbers of young people driving motorcycles over the green spaces bordering the Ballymagroarty and Hazelbank estates.
“Apart from the dangers which these activities pose for those driving and passers-by ,the bikes are leaving the green areas in very poor condition.
“The North West Community Motorcycle Project has been carrying out excellent work in attracting young people to an initiative which will allow motorcycles to be used in a proper environment.
“ The project has identified facilities which will shortly be open to those wishing to participate and I would encourage young people to become involved.”
NWCMP is a community project which has been set up to tackle the ongoing issue of the misuse of motorcycles and quads by youths locally.
This includes young people driving these vehicles in uncontrolled areas such as waste ground and grassy areas around local housing estates, as well as on roads and streets across the north west.
The stated aim of NWCMP is to provide a properly run ‘municipal’ type motorcycle track/facility where young people can bring and ride their dirtbikes and quads in a safe environment and with supervision as well as instruction, where required, by fully trained and qualified personnel.
The group’s Facebook page details how many of those already involved in the NWCMP come from a motocross racing background, both as riders and MRA licensed officials, experienced in running Motocross (MX) and bringing their experience, joining forces with local community representatives and statutory agencies to provide a balance of skills and experience in order to bring about and implement the project.
The group states on their page: “Projects such as this have been running successfully for over 30 years in England, Scotland and Wales and have proven to be very effective solution in addressing the community safety issue of the Misuse of Motorcycles/Quads in uncontrolled area such as housing estates that has been a well identified and ongoing problem in many parts of the Derry area for some years.”
NWCMP go on to say they have been liaising with Colr McGinley and Mark Doherty, of Community Restorative Justice, who run an annual safety campaign at this time of year warning of the Dangers of the Misuse of Motorcycles/Quads.
The group have been liaising with Derry City and Strabane District Council to see if the council or other agencies would have any suitable sites for such a project within the Derry City & Strabane District Council. In the short term, they have leased a piece of ground at Dunmore between Nixon’s Corner and Carrigans.
NWCMP were recently visited by Derry’s own glamorous pop star Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud fame as they announced the winner of their Christmas draw raffle.