Parents in Derry have been encouraged to think twice about buying quads and scrambler bikes to young people as Christmas presents.
Cityside Sinn Féin councillor Colly Kelly made the comment after complaints from people living in the Glenowen area of the city that green spaces close to their homes are being destroyed by quad bikes.
Colr. Kelly said the use of the quad bikes has left deep tracks on grassy areas in the estate. He also said a number of residents have raised concerns about the noise and potential safety concerns caused by the use of the vehicles.
“The anti-social use of these bikes is a menace on the local community,” he said.
“We have had a high number of complaints about the use of quads and scramblers over the Christmas and New Year holidays and that green spaces in the Glenowen and lower Creggan areas are being ripped up and badly damaged by these vehicles,” he added.
Colr. Kelly also said that it is mainly young people using the quad bikes and voiced concerns about the safety of children and pedestrians in the area.
“In some cases they are being driven along the footpaths placing pedestrians in serious danger as well as young children out playing in the street,” he explained.
Colr. Kelly said the problem has arisen since Christmas and locals believe the bikes may have been purchased as Christmas presents.
“It has been a case that people have turned a blind eye to the way these bikes are being driven about the place but it is now time that action was taken.
He also said that green spaces in residential areas like Glenowen are there for the use of everyone but should be respected and maintained.
“If anyone has information on who is behind this anti-community activity then they should report it to the Housing Executive and Road Service and those involved in destroying the green spaces should be prosecuted,” he said.
One local resident said the grassy areas in the estate have been destroyed. “The noise of these bikes is a nuisance enough in itself but they damage they do is even worse.
“It has been wet recently so the grass has been sodden and once these things get on the green areas they tear it up and leave a terrible mess behind.
“They can go pretty fast too so there is always the danger that someone could get hurt, either a child or adult walking past or the people riding them,” he said.