Programme aims to educate young people on ‘motorcycle misuse’

A rider takes part in a youth class. INCT 32-736-CON
A rider takes part in a youth class. INCT 32-736-CON

Motorcycle enthusiasts from Carrickfergus are hoping to foster greater involvement in the sport with proposals for a community project.

Earlier this year, Carrickfergus and District Motorcycle Club approached the local council with a request to form an East Antrim Community Motorcycle Project.

Aimed at children and young adults, the club aims to run the project in conjunction with the Motorcycle Racing Association Ireland, Mid and East Antrim Council, the PSNI, and the local Policing and Community Safety Partnership.

Carrick and District MCC Chairman, Peter Denney said: “Ideally we want to deliver a programme in which we can educate on the community safety issues of misuse of motorcycles, while offering an alternative.”

Although still at the proposal stage, the project could include coaching on a number of aspects from off road riding to first aid, marshalling, and bike maintenance.

The club also hopes to develop a piece of land which could operate as a permanent facility for training and supervised riding.

“We all know the impact misuse of motorcycles can cause, through nuisance, damage, noise and injury, sometimes fatal,” Peter added.

“We feel that we can do something positive to reduce the impact on the community and introduce kids to a fantastic sport which can be enjoyed in a safe and controlled environment.”

Recently, PSNI released a statement raising concerns over the illegal use of ‘scramblers’ and other off-road bikes in Carrickfergus.

It followed the tragic death of young mother-of-three Valerie Armstrong, who was hit by one of the vehicles as she walked her dog in Belfast’s Colin Glen Forest Park last month.

Commenting on the reports, a number of social media users called on the local council to consider a purpose-built track for scramblers and other similar bikes.

A spokesman for Mid and East Borough Council said there were “no immediate plans” to provide such a facility; however, the request for involvement in the proposed community motorcycle project “will be examined by senior officials in due course.”