Re Battersea MP Martin Linton

Chelsea Bridge bike night causes anguish
Martin Linton has been sent amateur film footage of scooter riders doing wheelies at the weekly bikers’ meet on Chelsea Bridge last weekend.

The film, sent by residents of Chelsea Bridge Wharf, shows the police appealing to bikers on a loudspeaker not to do wheelies or block the pavements fire exits but it also shows a number of scooter riders causing danger to traffic and obstruction later in the night by doing wheelies on the bridge.

Figures can be seen riding with one wheel in the air on the bridge and the amateur film footage shows skid marks inside the Chelsea Bridge Wharf development. Scooters are involved in more of the risky behaviour than motorbikes.

Martin said:

“The Friday bike meet has been causing anguish to some of the local residents ever since the new riverside blocks were built. I have attended meetings including one involving the police, the council and Transport for London who are all looking for ways to resolve the problems.”

Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 12:08 by Martin in Local | Comments Off

this sucks!!!

Well the bridge was nice whilst it lasted we have had 25 odd years of the bridge it was only a matter of time when they built the new flats. You have just paid half a mill plus for a flat the last thing ya want is a lot of bikes outside ya door on Friday’s.

So yes they will do anything they can to get us moved on this is just the start wait untill it realy starts to get momentum and the top bod in the police is asked WHY HE IS NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT then the preverbial Sh1t will hit the fan.!!!

Can they legally, as long as everyone is behaving, actually move you on? Obviously anti-social behaviour will be not be tollerated but simply bikes parked up?

I believe they can if it’s a designated public place under the public order act… but I could be wrong… where’s porksctrachin when you need him?

Yes they can move you on mate. Can’t remember the exact legislation but they can designate the area and start serving ASBo leaflets to make you leave.

Guys, let me enjoy this ‘oportunity’ and kindly ask you to behave your hands on the throtle (Don’t high rev the loud bikes) at our Cubanas mettings on Wednesdays nights. We definitely can loose the place if the residents get upset. Sorry to bring it up but the place is nice and I’m sure that we all are enjoying the meetings so, let’s take care of this one

I’v always wanted an ASBO, it’ll be the only qualification i’v got.

All they have to do is enforce the parking reg’s e.g. bike parked on pavment thas a NO if I remember right is double yellow on Chelsea Bridge if they send in the parking bods with a police bod if you remove or cover your plate the police then get busy !!!

It’s got to be worth contacting this MP and the neighbouring ones and introducing LondonBikers and the good things we do. We could get him down there and show him the other side of things and the ‘tradition’ of the meet as a whole and how it is a famous venue etc etc etc - not just the anti-social stuff (which of course we object to just as much as the residents).

Of course we are not saying Londonbikers sponsors or arranges the meet in anyway, however we should be able to say we are a responsible online community and use the venue sensibly etc and should not be tarred with the same brush. We could invite him down to the Ace and then the bridge and show him Frith street and how the bikers work with local police (well that’s the idea anyway) and behave and have a good time. I’m sure he’ll be down there as a guest of the residents.

Any sitting MP holds surgeries for the people living in the constituency they represent and that includes bikers too! So anyone living in the constituency can freely go and see them and talk about it face to face. I can write letters and make phone calls but if anyone lives in the local area that is better as you get in front of them and now is the time to go and see your MP and discuss…

Another tack could be local police and TFL / mayor on the lines of how can we save this venue - also the biking press how a famous meet is under threat.

Perhaps we can talk about this tonight at Cubana as clearly its an issue of concern to us and one where, if appropriate, LB can get involved to highlight the positives. Whether LB gets involved officially is not down to me of course however are we happy to lose this venue as a place to meet and chat- if so what next - where will it stop?

Apathy is the enemy…

Is there any way we can get the community to police itself or would that just be far too hard to manage…

Most don’t want the trouble-makers to screw things up for us. But then again, and don’t quote me on this eh, most also appreciate the skills and the fun of some of the trouble-makers I guess… that’s part of biking…

Can alternative venues be suggested…arranged…proposed…by the authorities? And if anyone’s bothered, I’m sure we get a caravan with a kettle for the teas so it feels like Chelsea Bridge…

This is so NIMBY, would there be any complaints if this happened in a council estate. Bikers were there first simple as in my view. However, the places we can go to be who we are are shrinking. How long before this sort of thing is clamped down on at the ACE ?

Exactly so perhaps now is the time to at least try and do something about it rather than just rolling over and letting it happen…

A few very good points raised here.

I will say that from the Police side (the upper echelons) the meet at Chelsea is going to get bugger all sympathy. The residents in the new block are the ones paying the council tax (and if they can afford to live there will no doubt have a fair old bit of persuasion on their side too - as wrong as it may be). They will be the ones that can and will grab the attention of the local MP and Senior Police Officer’s ear.

I dunno if LB should ‘officially’ get involved, that will be up to you guys who run it but if you did, you’d no doubt get the full support of all of your members including myself. I could see an invite to the Bridge going well until someone on a bike (or ped) pulls a wheelie right in front of them, then that would only achieve something similiar to shooting ourselves in the foot.

It would be good for those that are complaining to understand that there is bikers from every walk of life though.

The self policing is a good idea but there is a very high potential for a lot of grief and repercussions from it. I’m a new biker and I love to see a bit of stunting, there will always be those that want to do burn outs / stoppies / wheelies etc. The problem is that a lot of non bikers seeing it will not be impressed and even less so when it is on a public road with cars etc passing by.

What do you do when you see it, tell them to stop when there is a crowd of a few hundred plus on a warm Friday night ?? You just could end up getting sworn at at best and a smack in the mouth at worst. The only way to resolve that would be to have a Police presence there every Friday night but even me as a copper wouldn’t want that, I think it would make us all feel uncomfortable … reminds me of when I turned up at Cubana a few weeks ago whilst I was working, those that knew and recognised me were ok but there was a few concerned faces from those that didn’t until they saw me shaking a couple of hands.

I think the problem is the same at Frith Street, all would be well if nobody showed off there new exhaust, went up one way streets the wrong way etc etc.

Hopefully things will just calm down a bit and most people will realise that if you take the piss in a big way then it will cause problems for us all.

By all accounts and from what I can gather speaking to the old farts amongst you is that this type of discussion rears it’s head every year, without too much grief following it.

** Trojan steps back and waits for the abuse to fly his way **

Trojan, I am with you on this one.

No abuse from here

Fair points Trojan!

My worry is that this time there are things involved that could really close things down. I’m hoping that things will calm down but it’s a risky approach.

It’s not much but at least we would have tried. Bear in mind that ‘local residents’ at other popular venues might also start to complain about stuff too and then what do we do.

The glass is always half full as they say…

I enjoy Chelsea bridge as much as everyone but just want to point out that if you read the article it appears to be more focused on the scooters rather than the bikes. Although I think we would be painted the same way. I do not think self policing will work in this case, and the reason for that is that although we can take responsibility for ourselves, I do not know all the people that go to chelsea bridge and frankly, do not want to be responsible for their actions. Case in point the blue gxr that did a burn out in front of the police a few weeks ago for which I believe Wig was pulled over later that night.

another venue may need to be found and to be honest there are places which are not close to residential areas. I remember hearing (cos i never would have gone to something illegal like that) about street drag races in SA which were held in industrial areas - no residents complained and there was even a little caf there (or so i heard…)

Also I agree with Cezar - I really like the Cubana so lets keep it…

Hey! Thanks for posting this up Joe. I’m actually looking at this in a positive manner, this is a case where LB means we can get involved in any disputes at an early point, rather just being on the receiving end of any decisions and thus enforcement. I don’t mean that LB should get involved officially, but here’s a channel for us to discuss it and even contact Martin Linton. It’s a shame he doesn’t accept comments on his blog, but I can see why he doesn’t, it might descend into pointless arguments.

Chelsea Bridge has always been about having a good time with friends on a hot summers night, including the naughty stuff, i.e. stunts. This is a part of it and for many people who attend, it’s why they go there. The scooters have lowered the tone of the meet over the last couple of years, as they tend to crash a lot and cause accidents with bikes. I think this has been a catalyst in attracting bad-press.

Since they started building those luxury apartments, we knew the venue’s days were limited, nobody living there would want this on their doorstep. Even if I lived there, I wouldn’t want the noise every Friday night if I had guests round, for example, it’s understandable.

I don’t think self-policing is the way, as we have no authority and nobody would want to listen, and it would change the character of the venue, stopping the naughty stuff. I don’t want to be defeatist, but I think this meet will either fizzle out or change in character drastically.

Being a biker is to be free, to not be constrained by so many of the things that burdeon us in normal life, this is why there’s a big bad-boy element, and it’s intertwined with all the law-abiding aspects of biking as well, I just don’t see how any future meet that claims to be a replacement can work with no naughty stuff, it’s what it’s all about.

As Cezar has pointed out, we have the Cubana meet and we have to keep the bad-boy element out from that because of the residents, and arguably, it’s working so far, but it’s a different type of meet (please keep it this way!).

The Police have shown a presence at Chelsea Bridge in various forms over the years, from casual attendance just to keep an eye on things, to full-scale moving’s-on of people when things have gotten out of hand. I would have seen this continuing if it werne’t for the new apartments. I honestly don’t know what to think now, if the highlighting of the current troubles with the residents to an MP will have an effect that can be felt by those who go to the meet, or perhaps it’ll just be another bluster in the wind?

Either way, the community has a power, it can involve those concerned and try to fight its corner.

I totally agree with all the points you raise Trojan, and I’m sure everyone on here feels pretty much the same, but I have to say, the Forum’s support will only go so far, much like a gun or a knife amnesty…

The people we would need to reach and ask to calm down are the sort who wouldn’t support any efforts to calm things down. Fine, everyone on here will be up for keeping it going and “being reasonable”, but the kind of kids on scooters that would do burn outs and 600 meter wheelies on public roads in the first place…albeit credit to them for their skills…they just won’t be the kind of kids to go, “Ooh some serious old buggers are telling me to ease up, well old fellas, get f**ked!”

Honestly, I wouldn’t see a prob with a police prescence myself, but that’s my opinion. Wouldn’t that appease the residents, and reduce the majority of the incidents that would get heir backs up like burn outs INSIDE their housing estate and blockage of the fire lanes…most issues resolved, and something done to let the residents know they’re being listened to without stopping our meets?