Believed to be the first biking facility in Scotland - and possibly in the UK - to be developed in conjunction with a local authority, the Balbeckie project has been taken forward thanks to an innovative partnership between North Lanarkshire Council, Strathclyde Police , the Scottish Auto Cycle Union (SACU - the national governing body for biking activity) and North Lanarkshire Scramble and Quad Bike Club(NLSQBC). In addition to this it would not be possible to stage events and run the club without the fantastic support and help of the many adult and parent volunteers.
Although the nuisance of scramble and quad bikes on public footpaths, roads, green spaces and in country parks is very much a national issue, North Lanarkshire has taken the lead in developing a solution that works for local communities, politicians and - crucially - for the bikers themselves.
As a result of this pro-active approach, more than 300 North Lanarkshire residents are now members of NLSQBC. They have taken part in numerous events to promote the safe and legal use of these vehicles working to the motto of "do not criminalise - legalise". The figures speak for themselves - between 2002 and 2003, the number of complaints received by the police in relation to scramble bike activity fell by around 6,000, which is truly incredible.
Councillor Bill Martin, who is a founder member of the North Lanarkshire scramble and quad bike working group, has been heavily involved in the establishment of the Balbackie facility. He has been presented today with honorary membership of NLSQBC in recognition of the contribution he has made to the project. In addition Chief Inspector David Stephen of Strathclyde Police 'N' Division, received honorary membership of the club along with Andy Russell from SACU, both for their valued support and assistance.