Police Scotland has been urged to take action against speeding bikers at a popular Perthshire tourist trail, after residents claimed it was like “living next to the Isle of Man TT race track”.
An influx of motorcyclists and high performance sports cars on the A93 between Blairgowrie and Glenshee has prompted local organisations to rally together and demand tougher action.
In a joint letter to Chief Superindentent Andy Scott, the Glenshee and Strathardle Tourist Association, Mount Blair Community Council and the Mount Blair Development Trust claim speeders on the scenic route are a danger to locals – and each other – and could hit the recovery of the local tourism sector.
Elizabeth Stewart, who has a farm at the roadside, said: “It has been a nightmare.
“We just don’t feel safe to step outside our homes.”
She said the issue has returned since lockdown was eased. “It’s usually about five or six bikes at a time. I wouldn’t call them tourists, because they can’t be taking in the scenery at the speed they’re going.
“It’s like living next to the Isle of Man TT race track. You have to listen out for the noise of the bikes in the distance before you even think about going onto the road.”
She said: “Last year, I was driving back home and I came across a group of bikers standing on the road.
“One of the bikes was lying on its side and had hit a fence. I was told the rider had jumped off, and his motorcyle had slid across the road.
“If I had been driving there just a short time earlier, that could have hit me.”
The joint letter, signed by John Manning, vice-chairman of the Mount Blair groups and Kate Hunter, who chairs the tourist association, states: “Throughout the recent lockdown period and since, the problem has continued to grow to such a point that it is causing great concern to our residents and businesses and feedback from visitors is that this is also of great concern to them and could have a negative impact on tourism recovery to the area.”
The letter continues: “At times – predominantly dry and sunny days and evenings the A93 north of Blairgowrie to the Perthshire/Aberdeenshire border at the Glenshee Ski Centre, and the A924 between Bridge of Cally and Moulin Moor, are frequently treated as race tracks by a hardcore group of motorcyclists and high performance car owners.”
Local Conservative councillor Bob Brawn added: “Whilst most drivers and riders act responsibly, respecting the many people who call this area home, there are many who care only for their own enjoyment and the speeding and related noise that they generate infringes on the lives of residents.
“It is also dangerous and puts their own lives at risk as we have seen over many years.”
Inspector Greg Burns, of the Tayside Road Policing Unit, said: “We routinely carry out patrols on the A93 using marked and unmarked vehicles to deter and detect offences and speak to motorists about their behaviour in order to educate them as to the potential consequences.”
He said: “The dangers of speeding are well-known and is a major contributory factor to serious and fatal collisions. People who speed not only put themselves at risk, but also other members of the public.
“We will continue to carry out targeted patrols across the region and will carry out enforcement action when needed.”