MPs back newly formed task force to tackle anti-social motorcycling across South Downs
Two MPs have backed a new taskforce to tackle anti-social motorcycling across the South Downs.
Despite some respite at the height of the coronavirus lockdown, one unwelcome consequence of the easing of restrictions has been the return of noisy, ‘speeding’ motorcyclists travelling through Petworth and Tillington on the A272.
Petworth Town Council announced this week that a task force has been established at a county level with the involvement of MPs Gillian Keegan and Andrew Griffith, the police and motorbike organisations, as well as ‘all town and parish councils in the region’.
The task force hopes to combat motorcycle riders ‘who break the law through excessive speed, noise and reckless driving’.
The group, founded by Chichester district councillor and cabinet member Alan Sutton, had its first virtual meeting on Thursday.
Mrs Keegan, MP for Chichester, said working together as a community is ‘definitely the right approach to address this issue’.
She added: “Primarily it is a matter of public safety, to combat reckless and dangerous driving but it’s also important to ensure we all stay sane on Sundays.
“We will support the group by taking things forward to the relevant authorities and, where necessary, to my colleagues in Government departments.
“I fully encourage more people to support our efforts and ask your local councillor to get involved by contacting Alan.”
Mr Griffith, MP for Arundel and South Downs, said the ‘reckless behaviour of a minority puts us all at risk’.
“This should be treated by Sussex Police as a ‘risk to life’ issue, just like assault or worse,” he said.
“I applaud their response so far but we need this to continue across the summer months.”
The MPs’ concerns were raised with outgoing Sussex Police chief Giles York and police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne.
Mr Sutton said, by bringing together every level of Government, they can ‘attack this issue’ from all sides ‘with a comprehensive approach’.
He added: “I am very grateful to all the councillors who have already engaged and encourage my other colleagues to come on board.”
A spokesperson for Petworth Town Council said the task force will be meeting every two weeks and ‘further measures’ will be announced in ‘due course’.
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