MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire Council is considering a six-week pilot program to iron out problems with illegal dirt bike jumps and tracks.
According to a council officer’s report to council on Tuesday (18 October) the past two years – particularly during COVID lockdowns – coincided with a “high number of reports of illegal dirt jumps” being built across the peninsula, mostly in and around Mount Martha and Mornington.
To ensure dirt jumps, skills parks and pump tracks are in “appropriate” locations and designed with the community, the council has also proposed to exhibit its draft strategy for mountain bikes and BMXs.
Given the rise in makeshift jumps across the peninsula and concerns about the environmental and health and safety implications, the council and police have been forced to remove several community-made jumps.
In 2020 the clampdown sparked a petition calling for more places to use mountain and BMX bikes on the peninsula.
Community feedback in 2021 found that the public (mainly children) wanted to be involved in the building of dirt jumps and where they were allowed to be built.
Under the draft strategy a six-week dirt jumps program will be trialled at Citation Reserve, Mount Martha. Cycling Australia and trail building company Trailscapes will work with the community to build the dirt jumps.
The outcomes of the pilot program will inform the final strategy on council’s future approach to managing community-built dirt jumps.
The draft strategy was developed after consultation with Parks Victoria, Red Hill Riders, Mornington Cycling Club, Balcombe Estuary Reserves Group, schools, Youth Advisory Committee, Somers Bike Park Community Project, Hillview Quarries, AusCycling and Municipal Association of Victoria insurers.
The draft strategy outlines a plan to provide recreational bike parks to “meet the community’s need for more informal recreation opportunities”.