Bulldozing of popular Leeds bike trail branded ‘petty’

Councillors Dan Cohen and Neil Buckley with a rider in Adel Woods.

Councillors Dan Cohen and Neil Buckley with a rider in Adel Woods.

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Mountain bikers in Leeds who built and maintained trails through a wood are locked in a row after the tracks were bulldozed by Leeds City Council.

Keen cyclists who regularly ride the dirt tracks in Adel Woods, near Stair Foot Lane, said they were gutted to find 
the ramps and jumps they had crafted had been flattened overnight.

But the council insists the tracks are a safety risk. A spokesman said: “The council has a clear duty of care to all members of the public wishing to access Adel Woods. Safety is of paramount importance, so on those grounds the decision was taken to restore the area to its previous condition.” Councillor Daniel Cohen (Con, Alwoodley) called the decision “the ultimate in petty-minded bureaucracy”.

He said council officers had told him there had never been any complaints made and added: “The Friends of Adel Woods have no problem with it, the local councillors have no problem with it.

“I’ve had lots of phone calls and emails saying ‘can’t you just let these young people get on and enjoy this part of the city?’” He said the local authority was worried someone would get hurt 
and they would be held responsible.

It is an ongoing saga, as claims of complaints about “dangerous obstacles” on the path led to similar demolition seven years ago.

The trails were gradually rebuilt, before being recently levelled again.

But one cyclist, who has been riding and building tracks in the woods for around five years and competes in downhill mountain biking, said a long-term solution could be found if the council would just communicate with riders.

The Roundhay 20-year-old, who did not want to be named, said: “We want to come to some sort of agreement.”

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