Over the decades, various brownfield parts of Thurrock have been attractive to off road scrambler and more recently, quad bikers. It could be argued that it’s part of the culture of the region. The latest manifestation of this in the area we cover is happening in Stanford le Hope: Biker menaces top of the agenda at Stanford-le-Hope street surgery. This report is about a ‘street surgery’ attended by the Essex plod plus the two local Tory councillors (Cllr. Hebb and Cllr. Piccolo) and the local Tory MP, Stephen Metcalfe.
The two of us who make up the editorial team for the Stirrer live in Stanford-le-Hope and can confirm that yes, the quad and scrambler bikers can sometimes be a nuisance. We can also confirm that this is not a new issue round here by any stretch of the imagination. Back in the 1980s and 90s, a walk along the path across Stanford Warren or down on the seawall would frequently be punctuated by us having to stand aside to let a scrambler biker go past with us getting smothered in dust if they didn’t slow down enough!
The quad and scrambler biker presence around Stanford-le-Hope has been getting more noticeable since the middle of 2015. It’s no coincidence that this has happened since the one facility catering for quad and scrambler bikers in the region, Action Park was closed down by Basildon Council. The operators of Action Park are working behind the scenes to try and get the facility up and running again. Being north of the great divide in Basildon known as the A127 and up against the edge of the greener, leafier Tory voting areas, we’re not sure how much luck Action Park will have in their endeavours.
Why are we as radical anarchists interested in this issue? Because this shows what a combination of a lack of joined up thinking and obstructive planning can do in creating a problem. It’s part of human nature to want to take a few risks and have some fun in the process. That’s why some people get on quad and scrambler bikes and ride them off road to test their skills and endurance. What gets us is that there was a facility for this to take place that has now been closed down, thereby creating the issue there is at the moment. Perhaps Messrs Hebb, Piccolo and Metcalfe could have a quiet word with their mates in the Tory Mafia over in Basildon to suggest they support the re-opening of Action Park and see if that resolves the issue.
What will not work is hassling the quad and scramble bikers away from one area because as sure as night follows day, they will find another location to ride off road. If Action Park is not permitted to get up and running, then with a bit of imagination and flexibility, some kind of informal, ‘at your own risk’ arrangement on the still numerous brown field sites that are scattered across the region could be reached.