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Clampdown call on towpath bikers; BLAKENALL.

PEOPLE in the Blakenall, Bloxwich and Leamore areas of Walsall were today urged to "shop" motorcyclists" who ride illegally on canal towpaths.

The plea, from British Waterways, comes after more than pounds 250,000 was spent on improvements.

The project was funded by British Waterways in partnership with Walsall Council, Walsall's New Deal, the Big Lottery's Transforming Your Space initiative and the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund.

Officials now want anyone who sees culprits using motorbikes, quad bikes and mini motos on the canalside in Goscote to report them to the New Deal police team and wardens at Blakenall information Centre.

The aim is to stamp out nuisance bikes on the Wyrley and Essington Canal and ensure the community is free to use it in peace.

Sophie Birkett, community support officer for British Waterways, said she was hoping the community would support the initiative.

"Over pounds 250,000 has been spent on the towpath so that more local people can access it and enjoy healthy walks, cycling, fishing and wildlife. Our concern is that a small minority of people who illegally use motorbikes along the towpath will ruin the new surface, making it impossible for people with mobility problems to access it safely. "A recent community consultation showed that people who live nearby would visit the canal more if motorbikes were stamped out and the
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Apr 18, 2006
Words:223
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