Over the summer Clapham has been suffering an invasion from ‘The Stunt Squad’. These is a group of motorcyclists and quad-bikers who like to practice terrifying stunts on public roads, often without helmets and always without any care for other road users.
Twinwood Road in Clapham has been their favourite meeting place, advertising on Facebook to attract as many participants as possible. Whilst this road is ostensibly closed to through traffic it is still well used by locals and farm vehicles along with large lorries accessing the Biogen plant and pig farm.
At the bottom of the private road is an estate of around 200 houses. Locals using the road have felt intimidated and unsure about crossing the road whilst the noise is often heard throughout the village. As they leave the site, the participants are hyped up and many continue their stunts racing through the village without helmets.
Clapham Cllr Jane Walker has been working with Bedfordshire Police and residents to force a crackdown on the bikers and has welcomed recent arrests. She said:
‘As the part of Twinwood where they actually gather is a private part of the road, it was very hard for the police to respond to the problem. I asked residents, however, to call them every time they saw or heard the bikers in the village so that they had a full record of the extent of the problem. When I met with Chief Inspector Steve Vesztrocy he told me that they had been having similar problems in other parts of Bedford Borough and that the police had set up a full operation team to tackle it.
‘The site manager of the Twinwood business park was very helpful. He worked closely with the police operation team, calling the police every time the bikers met. Finally in August the police were able to make some significant arrests and seized the motorbikes of the main protagonists. Since then the problem has reduced tremendously and we hope that we will soon be able to post some pictures of the crushed bikes which may stop it altogether, for the time being at least.’