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Bikes seized in Wigan in off-roaders purge

Some of the off-road bikes which were seized
Some of the off-road bikes which were seized

Several scrambler and quad bikes have been seized by police in Wigan and Leigh as part of an early summer holidays crackdown.

Patrols from the police’s safer roads team descended on a number of locations across the borough, with unlicensed and unroadworthy machines in their sights.

Their purge divided opinion on social media but was backed by most residents, fed up at off-road motorcross bikes being used dangerously on borough highways.

A spokesman for GMP Wigan West said: “The team have been busy and have seized a number of vehicles that are illegal or were being used illegally.”

One resident, Jodie Melling, said: “There were about six to eight of them driving crazily through Ashton earlier, no helmets, doing wheelies, driving on the wrong side of road and swerving in and out of busy traffic. They are so lucky that they didn’t get hurt or injure anyone else.”

Another concerned local, Joanne Melling, added: “I was leaving Aldi car park and two of them on motorcross bikes were crossing Hilton Street from The Presidential car park.

“One lad on a red bike bumped down the kerb and nearly lost control into my car. Good job I braked hard otherwise I’d have hit him.

“He looked like he didn’t know how to ride a motorcross bike.”

The rider and another youngster, also on a motorcross bike, later rode off towards Ashton Heath Way.

Several residents criticised the police for seizing the machines - but others welcomed the crackdown.

Janette Daniels also said: “These bikes won’t have insurance so it they hit someone and kill them or damage property, everyone will be shouting that the police should have stopped them.

“I saw a group of them on Poolstock a few weeks ago and one used the roundabout at St James Church as a ramp and jumped over it between the road signs.”

The safer roads team, a unit dedicated to tackling issues including off-road bikes being used on public streets, was launched by the Greater Manchester force last summer.

Some of the officers are equipped with their own scrambler bikes to catch up with illegal riders.