Call for mini-moto track

A MINI-moto rider is today calling for a designated track following the launch of a new campaign to crush illegally ridden bikes.Gavin Walker of Bramford believes mini-moto owners should be able to use their bikes without fear of them being crushed by police - but to do this they need somewhere safe to ride them.

A MINI-moto rider is today calling for a designated track following the launch of a new campaign to crush illegally ridden bikes.

Gavin Walker of Bramford believes mini-moto owners should be able to use their bikes without fear of them being crushed by police - but to do this they need somewhere safe to ride them.

The 27-year-old said: “They are great fun and I enjoy riding mine but you need to exercise common sense. There should be somewhere for mini-moto riders to go and if I had any money I'd set somewhere up.”

As reported last week in the Evening Star, Suffolk police have initiated a clamp down on the use of mini motos in the town, warning illegal riders to expect their vehicles to be confiscated and crushed.

And this week Home Secretary John Reid launched a nationwide campaign ploughing £200,000 of funding into tackling the problem.

An online advertising campaign, linked to mini-moto websites, will also warn riders about anti-social behaviour and the consequences.

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Inspector Martin Barnes-Smith of Suffolk police said children are often unaware they need to be licensed, insured and taxed.

He added: “They are noisy and children ride them on pavements and footpaths. If youngsters are being abusive and causing damage we will do something about it.”

But Mr Walker said he feels irresponsible parents are to blame for youngsters using mini-motos on roads and pavements.

He said: “You can moan about the problem or try to solve it. If there was somewhere to go there would be no need to tax or insure them. They are dangerous on roads and they shouldn't be allowed on roads at all.”

A second hand mini moto can cost as little as £100.

Mr Walker, an unemployed labourer, said: “I paid £90 for mine and I have been five years saving for it so there's no way I am going to let it get crushed.

“It wasn't long ago that skateboards were seen in this way so after a lot of moaning people got together and skateparks started popping up in various places. There should be somewhere for mini moto riders to use their machines.”

What do you think of this issue? Should mini motorbikes be crushed? Should riders be punished or are they just a bit of fun? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblink www.respect.gov.uk.

It is illegal to ride unregistered mini-motos and similar off-roading vehicles on pavements, in parks and on public highways.

They should only be used on private land where permission has already been given.

The Motor Cycle Industry Association estimates that sales of mini-moto-type vehicles have increased from 10,000 in 2002 to an estimated 100,000 in 2005, although police believe there could be more in circulation.

Although marketed as "toys', these vehicles have loud engines and can reach speeds of up to 60mph.

To buy brand new a mini moto costs about £150-£200. They can be bought for about £100 second hand.

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