Bylaw needed to stop park bikers danger

John Smith Playing Field
John Smith Playing Field
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The hazards of motorbikers using a Longridge park as a speed track could be combatted with a bylaw.

Longridge Town Council has decided to explore the possibility of creating its own bylaw, forbidding bikers to use John Smith Playing Field as a speed track. It will be on the agenda at the next meeting.

The move comes after councillors heard from Ribble Valley borough’s director of community services, John Heap, that he had been unable to find any evidence prohibiting bikers using the park.

He added that the borough had no budget for gates to bar entry to the park.

The dangerous use of the park’s tracks and grounds has been the subject of concern at recent PACT policing meetings, details of which underlined councillors’ concerns.

Ribble Valley, as owners of the site, was aware of the dangers and the need for safety, and councillors decided to ask head of culture and leisure services, Chris Hughes, if signs preventing bikers’ entry would be possible.

Mr Hughes said he would look to take things further after firm proposals were received. Where bylaws were concerned, he added: “If there are any, they would be so old they probably wouldn’t be applicable.”

In the early 1800s the park was a quarry, from which the stone was used for local buildings and major developments in Lancashire. Once the quarry railway which connected to the town was dismantled, the area was used as landfill before being landscaped into a park.