Young people from Nuneaton and the surrounding area are being given the opportunity to learn how to ride mini-motos safely and legally.
A new scheme has been setup by Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Police and the Auto Cycle Union to help reduce the amount of illegal and anti-social use of this type of bike, and give riders a better understanding of the equipment.
The first event takes place at the Warwickshire Opportunities Centre, Pool Road Industrial Estate, Camp Hill, on Wednesday 18 February between 11am and 1pm.
Young people aged between 6 and 16 only are invited to ride around a specially laid out track. They will need to take along a mini-moto bike that is in good working order, and must wear appropriate clothing including helmet, jacket, gloves, long trousers and sturdy shoes.
Young people must bring a Parent or Guardian with them to the venue.
If the new initiative generates sufficient interest, a new club will be formed that will hold regular mini-moto riding events.
The initiative is based on a model developed by the Rugby-based Auto Cycle Union (ACU), the National Governing Body for motorcycle racing in the UK, who also have similar projects being run successfully across the country.
Cllr Martin Heatley, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, said: "This project gives young mini-moto riders a place to ride their bikes legally, and at the same time learn how to ride safely and look after their bikes. We hope they’ll also have a lot of fun.
“We want to channel these young people’s enthusiasm for motorcycling in a positive direction and hopefully prevent them from getting into trouble for using their bikes illegally or injuring themselves through improper use.”
Chief Inspector Chris Lewis, Head of Operations Task Force with Warwickshire Police, said: "We receive a lot of complaints from the public about improper and nuisance use of mini-motos by young people. Some of the problem stems from parents buying the bikes without considering the practicalities of where and when they can be ridden.
“It is dangerous and illegal to use these bikes on roads, pavements or other public places. We have the power to seize and destroy bikes ridden illegally or in an anti-social manner.”
Lucille Adams, Field Officer for Auto Cycle Union added: “Mini-bikes are designed for young people to enjoy their first experiences of motorcycling, but it is imperative the machines are safe and used in the correct environment.
“Young people coming to the club will get good advice on proper usage, the law, and correct clothing.