Police tackle illegal bikers

The police Land Rover was out on Sunday morning as part of the crackdown

The police Land Rover was out on Sunday morning as part of the crackdown - Credit: Archant

Police are cracking down on the illegal trail bike riders who destroy the tranquillity of Sid Valley beauty spots and give legitimate riders a bad name.

An operation on Sunday did not yield any arrests, but showed dog walkers and horse riders that officers are being proactive.

People are often spooked when the illegal riders tear down the footpaths and bridleways in sites such as Mutter’s Moor, East Hill Strips and Woodbury Common.

Sean Comber, the secretary of the Devon Trail Riders Fellowship, said: “Illegal riders reflect badly on everyone – they need to be dealt with in the bounds of the law.

“Sometimes people [riders] don’t realise [they are on a path illegally], but I think, in most, cases they probably do.”

Mr Comber says members of the fellowship go no faster than 20mph, always stop for horses and dog walkers and never ride in groups of more than six.

They are working to raise awareness of trail riding as a hobby to show that it can be done legally on green lanes.

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Members fundraise to put up signs and carry maps to show which route they are allowed to use.

Riders who stray off the legal routes face a £1,000 fine and having their bike seized, if they are caught.

Sidmouth police have been out on regular patrols, covering the same routes in a Land Rover.

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