STALYBRIDGE and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds has welcomed measures designed to deter young people from taking mini-motos to a Longdendale beauty-spot.
Residents have been complaining about young people riding mini-motos in the area around Hurst Clough Local Nature Reserve for a number of months.
They say a small number of young people regularly use the area as a racetrack - tearing up and down the longer stretches of track.
This, they say, causes excessive noise and nuisance - particularly to residents whose homes line the area of countryside. And there are also concerns that by using the bikes on these tracks young people may be putting their own lives at risk.
So now the council, the police, countryside rangers and MP Jonathan Reynolds have joined forces to come up with a solution.
A metal gate and a stile have been installed on the path leading to Hurst Clough, which runs parallel to Broadbottom Road. And posts are being installed on bridges that lead to the clough.
In addition a small number of logs are also being placed at strategic points around the area, in order to restrict the use of mini-motos in the area further.
In the coming months the council, the police, countryside rangers and MP Jonathan Reynolds will continue to monitor the situation.
But it is hoped that the measures will deter the use of the off-road bikes in the Hurst Clough Local Nature Reserve.
Stalybridge and Hyde MP Mr Reynolds said: "The area around Hurst Clough is enjoyed by visitors from across Tameside and beyond. It is a wonderful wooded area that is a much valued oasis of calm.
"But for months this calm has been routinely destroyed by a small number of young people riding mini-motos and off-road bikes, who have used the country paths as a racetrack.
"These paths are clearly not suitable for use of mini-motos. And this is a dangerous practice that puts lives at risk.
"The repetitive riding of these bikes around this area also creates excessive noise and nuisance for residents whose homes adjoin the area. And this has caused understandable distress.
"It is in order to address these concerns that the council and the police have now joined forces to come up with a package of measures - designed to deter off-road bikes without restricting access to those who want to enjoy the area responsibly."
Head of countryside for Tameside Council Carl Baron said: "Illegal motorcycling and the associated noise and damage caused to paths and grassland can destroy wildlife habitats and reduce people's enjoyment of peaceful and relaxing countryside visits.
"We need to manage the Hurst Clough Local Nature Reserve so it can be used and enjoyed by visitors and wildlife. And I hope the measures we have taken will help preserve this very special environment for all."
And PC Neil Kidd, From Greater Manchester Police, said: "People riding mini-motorcycles illegally is dangerous and can cause distress to residents and a great deal of damage to parks and open spaces.
"The bikes are designed to be used off-road and by using them on a road or footpath then not only are riders leaving themselves vulnerable to an accident, but they are also breaking the law.
"I want to reassure members of the public that police take off-road bikes very seriously and we will take action against anyone flouting the law or putting their lives or others at risk by riding them dangerously."
Local police are asking residents to continue to report any nuisance caused by young people using mini-motos in the area, by calling 0161 872 5050.
Residents with more general comments or issues relating to this matter should write to Jonathan Reynolds MP at The Constituency Office, Hyde Town Hall, Market Street, Hyde, SK14 1AL.
Published July 12, 2010