Rise in illegal quad bikes poses danger for children in Kirkcaldy

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Residents living in the north of Kirkcaldy say that the ongoing problem of quad and off-road bikes posing a danger to pedestrians has become worse than ever.

And they are calling for the police to take action before someone is seriously hurt.

From left: James Arnott, John Smith and George Lothian on the grassy area next to Chapel Road in Kirkcaldy

From left: James Arnott, John Smith and George Lothian on the grassy area next to Chapel Road in Kirkcaldy

They say that the bikes are being raced illegally between as far along as Dunnikier Park and golf course and right along past the mosque and Chapel, down through the grassy area which runs along past Torbain Primary School, right along and across Broom Road, and Rabbit Braes.

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And the claim that it is only a matter of time before a child is seriously hurt as the route takes in areas where youngsters play, people walk their dogs and mums walk with buggies and toddlers.

“They race along here just yards from play areas and where mums walk their children to and from school through the underpasses, racing up the grass banking and churning up the grass doing doughnuts, causing a nuisance and leaving a mess in their wake,” said John Smith (76), who lives off Broom Road.

“I have lived in the area for about 44 years and this is definitely the worst I have seen it.

“It has been really bad recently, particularly in the evenings and at weekends and, with the lighter nights around the corner, it’s only going to get worse.”

John took me for a walk along the section from Broom Road to Torbain school where the tyre marks from quad and scrambler bikes were clearly visible in the grass and up the banking, as well as along public footpaths where it is illegal for the bikes to be driven.

James Arnott (69), a neighbour of John’s said it was the danger to members of the public, in particular children, which worried him.

“There are lots of children who play football or go to the playpark around here and it is a real concern that they could be hurt.

“The bike riders too race along without helmets, often wearing balaclavas so they won’t be recognised.”

George Lothian (76), said: “The other day three came down Broom Road, driving along on just their rear wheels all the way down the hill towards the Rabbit Braes.

“There were lots of children walking home from school at the time.”

Mum of three Hayley Connell from Redcraigs said she feared for her safety when walking her children to and from school.

“They come tearing across the Rabbit Braes and down here where there are children playing. They are always too quick to be able to do anything like calling the police because they would be miles away before they got here.

“My kids are going to be teenagers one day, but I would hope that they would be brought up to be responsible.

“I often take them through Rabbit Braes on their bikes, but when these quad bikes are around it’s just not safe.”

Gill Clark, another local resident added: “I walk my two dogs in the area and one of these days a bike is going to come and knock me flying.

“They are making a real mess of the grass and there’s no doubt that this is the worst it has been for a long time.”

John said: “These bikes are a blight on the local community and it is not fair to people living here to be worried to let their children out to play or to take their dog for a walk.

“Something needs to be done and soon before someone gets hurt.”

Chief Inspector Tom Brown from Kirkcaldy police station said: “This is not solely a policing problem and our partners and the community have role to play to deter and disrupt this sort of anti-social behaviour. Officers can employ a range of tactics to ensure those involved are identified as soon as possible, including working with colleagues in Safer Communities to carry out patrols in areas highlighted as places of concern, along with using open space CCTV to monitor areas identified by the public.”

“We’d urge anyone with concerns or information about criminality in their area to report this to us via 101.”