‘Get scramblers and quads off Santa lists’

Derry parents have been strongly urged not to buy their children quad bikes or scramblers as Christmas presents.

A campaign to highlight the dangers posed by misuse of off-road vehicles was launched at Free Derry Corner earlier this week.

The campaign is being coordinated by Community Restorative Justice and supported by the PSNI, Ambulance Service and local community groups.

A billboard supporting the campaign was unveiled by Mayor of Derry, Councillor Martin Reilly, along with councillors, community activists, and representatives of the emergency services.

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue appealed to parents to consider the dangers of off- road vehicles.

She also said quad bikes and scramblers cause environmental damage to green spaces across the city.

“Derry City Council has spent thousands in repairs and additional fencing around the playing fields and parks to stop quads and scramblers destroying these facilities.

“The Housing Executive has also spent money repairing damage that has been caused to green areas managed by them in the Derry area,” she said.

Colr. Logue also said the money spent on repairing damage caused by misuse of off-road vehicles could be better spent elsewhere.

“That is thousands of pounds of public money being spent trying to combat the problem and it’s taxpayers’ and ratepayers’ money that could be utilised elsewhere,” she explained.

The cityside councillor said she hoped the campaign would make local parents consider the possible consequences of buying their children quad bikes and other off-road vehicles.

“Highlighting the destruction quads and scramblers are causing in many areas and the anti-social use of these bikes will, I hope, make parents think twice before they buy these bikes as presents for their children,” she said.

Earlier this year community leaders in the Glenowen area of the city raised concerns after quad bikes were driven on green areas in the estate, damaging the grass and risking the safety of children and animals.