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Warning after motorcyclists fined for illegal forest ride

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Illegal use of motorbikes in the Island’s forests endangers the public and the environment and perpetrators will be prosecuted.

That is the message from the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA), after two local motorcyclists were fined a total of £1,000 by a criminal court and had their Auto Cycle Union (ACU) competition licences suspended for six months.

The men were caught riding without authority on DEFA land at Sky Hill, Ramsey.

David Cretney MLC, Member of DEFA responsible for Forestry, Amenity and Lands, said:

‘This provides an opportunity to remind the public that it is an offence to drive or ride vehicles in any of the Department’s forests without permission.

‘This activity can pose a risk to walkers, horse riders and cyclists and can damage tracks.

‘Organised motorsports events take place in our forests, but these are risk-assessed, insured, properly supervised under the ACU’s code of conduct and flagged up to other forest users via signage.

‘Illegal and irresponsible use of forests could jeopardise the future use of the forests for events,’

Mr Cretney said.

‘This prosecution sends out a strong message that unauthorised motorcycling in our woodlands will not be tolerated.’

Gary Thompson, General Secretary of the ACU, said:

‘As the British governing body for motorcycle sport, we take illegal riding seriously as it brings the sport into disrepute. 

‘We will continue to work with landowners and police to stamp out such behaviour.’

Members of the public observing unauthorised motor vehicle use on DEFA land should contact police on +44 1624 631212 or DEFA on +44 1624 695701.

Dedicated green lanes for motorists exist in the Island’s countryside. 

Constable Mark Kerruish, an Isle of Man Constabulary Wildlife Crime Officer, said:

'the routes are legal highways and users’ vehicles must be roadworthy, taxed, insured and ridden with consideration for other users, with restrictions observed.'

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