Tranquillity locked out

THE drone of trail bikes roaring past his home has driven one Fernmount resident to put himself at risk of prosecution just for some peace and quiet.

Rufus McCrachett, who lives on Old Brierfield Rd, admits he’s locked and often closed a gate blocking off the Fernmount Range fire trail to stop unregistered motorcycles ripping past his property.

By blocking the public road, he’s annoyed neighbours and been reprimanded by police and the Bellingen Shire Council.

But the fed-up pensioner has defended his actions, saying he’s just trying to raise awareness of the nuisance and possible danger of “illegal” dirt bikes.

“This issue has caused me considerable anxiety and as an invalid pensioner my quality of life has been affected,” Mr McCrachett said.

“I have distributed State Forestry leaflets (relating to motorbike laws in bushland) throughout Fernmount and Bellingen to no avail. I am at my wit’s end.”

The council sent a letter to Mr McCrachett in January stating complaints had been made against him for locking the gate and preventing access along the public road.

“We appreciate he has an issue with the trail bikes, but anyone blocking off a public road requires a permit and without one it’s potentially dangerous to do so,” the council’s Warwick Knight said.

Mr McCrachett says he’s reported the matter to Bellingen Police, State Forests and the Rural Fire Service, which maintains the fire trail.

More than anything he wants to alert parents in the area of the angst these motorcycles are causing.

“I am subjected to the noise and danger of unregistered, unlicensed and uninsured motorbikes passing within five metres of my abode at all hours of the day and night. All I’m asking for is some consideration.”

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