The Ringland Hills dirt jump and downhill riding spot in Norwich has been razed to the ground by bulldozers following a row between the local Parish Council and mountain bikers over the ecological damage and safety concerns of the council for the track users.
The site, which has been used for over fifty years as a cycling venue, and more recently as a dirt jump track was flattened by bulldozers in an attempt to restore the area to its natural state, so it can be used by everyone.
Ringland Parish Council ordered the work following concerns that cyclists using the track could potentially hurt a member of the public – and the council would be liable for any bill as a result. However, the riders using the track say that not enough consultation was entered into and that complete destruction was an extreme solution.
Councillor Chris Ames said: “The council is responsible for health and safety on the hills and if a member of the public was hurt by somebody on a bike we would have to foot the bill – we cannot insure against the kind of danger they represent.”
Riders who used the site have set up an online petition to protest at the council’s “unnecessary destruction” of the site – which, according to photographic evidence, has been used by cyclists since 1959.
Rebecca Vaughan, 29, a regular user of the track said:
“I can understand if the council wants to open up the hills for other people. But bikers and walkers can live side by side.
“There must be a solution which means we can carry on using the hills.”