Brent Council's motorcycle ban not working

Riders continue to use public road in breach of ban

A BAN of motorcycles from a public road is not working, according to the British Motorcyclists Federation.

Riders are still using Rainsford Road in Stonebridge, north London, despite signs saying the route is closed to bikes.

Cars and other vehicles are permitted to use the road but motorcycles are banned under an experimental traffic order.

Brent Council says riders have used the road, near the Ace Café, for stunts, leading to accidents and complaints.

But because the measure is so unusual, signs put up by the council are not registering with “normal motorcycle traffic”, according to the BMF. As a result many riders continue to use it in ignorance, while others do so in defiance, the BMF says.

In a letter to the council, the BMF’s Government Relations Executive, Chris Hodder, says: “As far as we can tell, normal motorcycle traffic is continuing to use the road. It is extremely unusual to see 'no motorcycle' signs on the public highway and their usage is confined to footpaths and the like where a motor car could not pass, but a motorcycle could, to indicate to road users that the path is not open to motor vehicles.

“Therefore, despite the seemingly ample signage at the site, it is clear that motorcyclists are having trouble understanding the scheme and how it relates to them. The signs are in the legally correct locations, but as they are rare outside of Rainsford Road, it is likely that motorcyclists are just not understanding in time to act or not seeing them in the first place.

“There are also cases of open defiance to the closure of a part of the public highway to an otherwise legitimate form of transport. We therefore contend that the scheme is ineffective at preventing motorcycle traffic.”

Hodder also accuses the council of failing in its obligation under the road traffic act to provide for “the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of vehicular and other traffic”.

He says the measure is not a genuine experiment. 

His letter says: “Furthermore, we would contend that closing a road to a class of traffic to prevent accidents by that class of traffic is so obvious that it does not require an experiment and therefore this experiment is not a genuine experiment. Moreover, no defined criteria for success have been published with the order.”

Brent Council has issued a statement saying: “There are on-going and often daily problems with motorcyclists using this road as a race track and for stunt riding, particularly when there are events at the nearby Ace Cafe.Numerous incidents and accidents have been reported by the Metropolitan Police and the local community.

“It is only be a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed. It is unfortunate that there will be an impact on law abiding motorcyclists but we have to consider the safety of other road users and people that live and work in the area.”