Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

August 11, 2005
Quad bikes could be banned from Berrow and Brean beaches

Quad bikes

Quad bikers and sand racers could soon be banned from the beaches at Berrow and Brean amid fears that they are causing environmental damage and may even result in potential court action.

Increasing numbers of quad bikes, motorbikes and cars are used on the sand dunes and beaches which, according to local parish councillors, is resulting in the damage to wildlife, shattering the peace of the area and putting other beach users at risk.

Local by-laws are already in place to ban vehicles from the beaches, but these are now dated and not tight enough to be used against the quad bikes which are being used in the area this summer.

A meeting of parish councils urged Sedgemoor District Council to put pressure on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) to process its applications for a new, more rigorous law to put an end to their use.

Burnham-On-Sea district and town councillor Louise Parkin was at the meeting and said steps should be taken to protect not only the environment and public, but also the council itself.

"It is mainly quad bikes and motorbikes using the dunes, and there are cars which use the beaches to go racing around," she said.

"As well as the damage this does to the environment - the dunes in particular are very fragile and are a beach defence - it is also dangerous. The fact is we live in a compensation culture. We have a duty of care and have to be extraordinarily vigilant about these things."

Wardens are on hand during the summer months to keep the problem in check, but in the winter it can become a dangerous free-for-all according to some.

Andrea Johnstone, chairman of Berrow Parish Council, said: "People know the wardens are not around in the winter so we get people coming from all over the region with trailers full of quads and mini-motorbikes. They go up and down the beach and dunes, and race around the beach."

While backing the call for the introduction of the new bylaws, she believes year-round wardens may be the only way to really solve the problem.

RELATED LINKS:

Beach guide to Burnham, Brean and Berrow


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