We are lucky in Kent to be surrounded by wonderful countryside, and I know how important access to it is for people’s health and wellbeing.
That’s why I’ve been concerned by reports about off-road vehicles using sections of the Pilgrims and North Downs way illegally. Riders flying up these tracks at high speed are putting people in danger, causing misery for local residents, and ruining a shared space for others.
It’s particularly sad to see pictures of quadbikes being driven over The Lenham Cross war memorial.
This needs to stop. That’s why last week I called a meeting with local councillors, Kent Police, and Kent Highways to discuss solutions.
I’m pleased that Lenham Parish Council are going to work with the local landowner to protect the Cross, but we also need to see those responsible brought to justice.
Local Councillors and I will be organising a meeting of those affected, to make sure that enough of these instances are being reported to the police.
Once this happens Kent Police have agreed to launch a full operation to catch those involved - including fines and vehicle seizures. They’ve also agreed to conduct quality of life surveys, to understand how this is impacting local residents’ wellbeing.
If you’ve been affected by this please do report incidents to 101 or online. I’m determined not to let a small minority spoil our green spaces.