Public advised to look out for off-road motorcycles

Members of the public are being urged to report any off-road motorcycle riding on Yateley Common and the surrounding area.

It follows an increase in reports of these vehicles being used illegally on common land, with several incidents of vehicles almost being in collision with members of the public, dogs and horse riders.

Now, the Safer North Hampshire community safety team*, Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire County Council’s Countryside Service are urging people to be vigilant and to raise the alarm if people are spotted riding illegally.

Sgt. Hannah Luchesa from the Hart North Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “The irresponsible actions of a few individuals riding illegally is dangerous to the public enjoying open spaces responsibly, and causes damage to paths, plants and wildlife habitat. Motorised vehicle access is not allowed in Yateley Common under byelaws, unless it relates to the maintenance and upkeep of the site or for disabled access.”

Cllr John Kennett, Hart District Council Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, added: “There are a number of organised off-road motorbike clubs in Hampshire and the surrounding area, and we would encourage riders to seek these out rather than continually damaging common land, as well as endangering members of the public.”

If repeatedly caught riding on common land and causing damage or alarm to members of the public, riders run the risk of having their vehicles confiscated and crushed. It is also an offence under the Road Traffic Act to drive a vehicle somewhere other than the road, invalidating any insurance as well as risking penalty points on a driving licence.

Anyone who sees a motorbike or quad bike driving on common land is asked to call 101 to give a description of the bike, including the colour and number plates (if they have them) as well as a description of the person riding it. They should not attempt to confront the driver.