PEDESTRIANS and motorists  have been put on the alert after a dramatic upsurge in the illegal use of quads and scramblers in Lenadoon.

Police have issued a specific warning about the Horn Drive area of the estate where the off-road vehicles are being driven on public footpaths and roads.

“It’s been happening here  for the last couple of years but it’s now getting out of hand,” said a resident, who did not want to be named.

“They come up through Lenadoon and into Carrigart Avenue near the Half Moon Lake.  It’s boys between the ages of 16 and 19 that are driving these bikes, they’ve no insurance or tax either.  Someone must know who they are and if they do they should do something about it as they are going to kill themselves or someone else, they drive that fast near where young children are playing.”

Police in West Belfast say  they will take action against the use of off-road scramblers and quad bikes in Lenadoon.

“Police would like to emphasise the dangers of such vehicles. They are not toys,” said a police spokesperson. “Police often receive reports from concerned members of the public about young people riding vehicles like scramblers and quads recklessly in the local area, causing noise pollution, pedestrian annoyance and inconvenience, scaring animals and causing damage to parked vehicles. Quads, and some scramblers, do not comply with Construction and Use regulations and Vehicle Safety Standards and therefore are restricted to ‘off-road’ use only. This does not mean they can be driven anywhere ‘off-road’. These vehicles should only be used on private land where you have permission and should not be used on pavements, roads, public property or parks – this includes green grass areas and public paths throughout the area.

“Riders must be aware of the minimum requirements by law, such as insurance and safety equipment, that must be complied with in order for these vehicles to be deemed legal.

“Anyone who witnesses this type of activity in the area or who has any information is asked to contact police at Woodbourne on 0845 600 8000. Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.”