Bike-riding yobs cause mayhem on key Leeds road route

PIC: @PeopleofLeeds
PIC: @PeopleofLeeds

A gang of bike-riding troublemakers brought chaos to one of the busiest road routes in Leeds last night.

Police closed the outbound carriageway of the A65 Kirkstall Road near Asda for around an hour due to a large group of scooter, off-road bike and quad bike riders racing back and forth.

As many as 50 riders were involved at one stage, with the police helicopter also hovering above Kirkstall.

The bikers had earlier been seen speeding en masse through other parts of the city centre and the Hyde Park area.

West Yorkshire Police’s customer contact centre said it had received 244 calls about the bikers between 4pm and 9pm last night.

A force spokesman said the gathering was believed to have been organised on social media.

He said there was a large police presence at the scene but no arrests had been made.

Transport authority Metro tweeted that the A65 closure was due to “a crowd with motorbikes and quad bikes racing up & down the road.”

Metro also tweeted: “The bikers are racing through various roads in Leeds city centre. Expect service disruption – unfortunately it’s not possible to predict [where].”

A post on Facebook said some people in the Kirkstall Road area were too scared to walk home by themselves during the mayhem.

Leeds City Council’s Coun Lucinda Yeadon said all of West Yorkshire’s specialist road policing officers had been drafted in to deal with the problems.

Coun Yeadon, who represents the Kirkstall ward, also said the police had told her that their priority was “safeguarding” the public.

The bikers were seen by one eye-witness “pulling wheelies” on Vicar Lane in the city centre at about 7pm.

Startling video footage posted on Twitter also showed them riding up the pedestrianised area of Briggate.

The group was seen on Kirkgate and Woodhouse Lane, while there was another sighting of them travelling on the wrong side of Victoria Road towards Hyde Park Corner.

The police said both sides of Kirkstall Road were open again to traffic by about 8pm.

Last night’s incident comes a day after the Metropolitan Police arrested eight men for failing to stop during a similar ‘ride-out’.

Officers used tyre deflation devices to stop 17 motorbikes and three quad bikes on Sunday evening.

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