A South Tyneside motorcross enthusiast’s plan to build a off-road bike track to deter illegal road riding has got into gear – with a cautious welcome from police and council chiefs.
Northumbria Police and South Tyneside Council have confirmed they would be happy to meet Dean Hart to discuss his idea to develop a site at Temple Memorial Park, South Shields.
On Saturday, the Gazette revealed how Mr Hart, from Whiteleas, believes a track would stop many inexperience young riders from taking their bikes onto the streets.
Such are concerns around illegal riding that police are considering using airborne drones to try and catch those responsible.
A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “We’re aware of concerns that have been raised about motorbike disorder in the area and are working closely with South Tyneside Council to resolve the issue.
“We would be more than happy to meet with Mr Hart, along with the council, to find out more about this.”
A South Tyneside Council said: “We are currently reviewing a number of options that would help improve and consolidate facilities on the wider Temple Park site and any proposals put to the council will be considered as part of this.
“We would be happy to meet Mr Hart, alongside the police and other partners, to discuss any such proposals.”
But the scheme received a more mixed response from Gazette readers on social media site Facebook.
Mandy Burn said: “I think it’s a brilliant idea so kids can ride safely and in a controlled area. Good luck, hope this really takes off.”
Gary Tiffin wrote: “Excellent idea. Jobs to be created and work to be made. Keeps everyone happy and the council can profit from it.”
But Alison Thompson said: “While I agree that it’s a good idea, would it not mean even more unlawful riding of the bikes on the streets leading to Temple Park?”
Julie Allen added: “They already use Temple Park anyway, dirt tracks and field where many dogs and kids have nearly been hit by the idiots riding the bikes.
And Kenneth Mitchell said: “Who wants the noise of all these bikes outside their homes all day?
“It’s bad enough now, imagine what it would be like with a legal track on Temple Park.”