CORK city needs a designated public space for quad bikes and scramblers, a city councillor has claimed.
Thomas Gould (SF) said the motorised vehicles have become a “scourge” on northside housing estates, parks and green areas but believes they could actually become a positive outlet for young people if they had a place to enjoy them safely.
Legislation to clear up the usage of quad bikes and scramblers via the Road Traffic (Quads and Scramblers) (Amendment) Bill 2017 did not progress past the second stage of the proposed bill in October of last year.
Scramblers and quad bikes are subject to road traffic laws on public roads and must have tax and insurance.
However, in off-road public spaces, gardaí have issues enforcing laws because of the interpretations of public parks’ status as public or private spaces. Under the Road Traffic Act, they are private spaces but the Public Order Act classifies them as public spaces. An Garda Siochána is believed to be seeking legal advice on which act they can enforce the law under.
The Lord Mayor of Dublin recently met with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris in an attempt to address dangerous scrambler bike use that is “terrorising communities” in the capital.
In Cork, Mr Gould believes that if young people have a space to enjoy their vehicles, usage may be reduced in residential areas.
“[Scramblers and bikes] are everywhere, right across the northside. We have a big issue with parents buying bikes as toys for teenage kids and they are going to local parks and green areas and they are driving on these bikes," Mr Gould said.
“We’ve nowhere in Cork for people who are interested in motorbikes and quad bikes to go. I have already raised it in the council that we should have a designated area for people.
“Bikes can be a very positive thing and kids can learn about mechanics and responsibility. There could be great positives in this if there was an area that was open to the public and manned but kids are using these in estates and green areas.
“The people of Fairfield have had their hearts broken. People with kids are out walking and the minute these bikes come along, they have to pull the children away. The noise of them is unbelievable and it strikes fear in people because they sound threatening.
“The Gardaí are already under-resourced and this is not a high priority for them,” he added.