Bikers to Wootton Bassett get police help

The police and Ministry of Defence have stepped in to help the teenage organiser of a mass motorbike ride through Wootton Bassett in aid of servicemen and women.

Elizabeth Stevens, 18, of Luton, planned the ride on March 14 with a few friends but, through the social networking website Facebook, the numbers of bikers and pillion passengers expected to take part has reached 14,000.

Now registration for the ride has been closed early to stop numbers swelling to unmanageable levels and the start of the rally has been switched from Leigh Delamere services on the M4 to Hullavington Airfield.

Miss Stevens, who is being helped by Julia Stevenson, a pensioner biker from Kent, have agreed with Wiltshire Police to an amended route from Hullavington through Brinkworth and along the A3102 to Wootton Bassett.

The police involvement follows fears of mayhem in the town as the bikers ride through.

Miss Stevenson said: “The logistics have been a nightmare.

“It has been crazy but with the help of the police, the MoD and the Army it has come together.”

She added: “The police have been wonderful and nothing has been too much trouble for them.

“I feel honoured to work with them. It is wonderful that everybody is just coming together and supporting our troops.

Sergeant Jo Spencer from Wootton Bassett police said: “It has become evident to them that they do need our advice to help them proceed. I don’t think they realised the power of Facebook.”

Singer Tim Pitman will perform onstage at Hullavington and a cheque will be presented to the Afghan Heroes charity.

Councillors had been concerned about the impact of the rally on Wootton Bassett. But Coun Chris Wannell said: “I have every faith in the police in dealing with this issue and I think we should leave it to the authorities.”

Chief Inspector Owen Gillard said: “We fully support Afghan Heroes and the excellent work that they do. It’s wonderful to see so many bikers registered to take part for such a worthy cause.”

But he warned motorists to expect delays on March 14.

Comments (1)

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2:10pm Tue 2 Mar 10

Worz says...

Everyone I've spoken to in WB has every respect for our troops, living or dead, serving or at home. It's just that we're getting sick and tired of vast hoards of "grief tourists" closing the town, almost every week.
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The original plan was for the bikers to ride from the services to RAF Lyneham to hand over some charity money. Then the services decided that they didn't want the bikers, so they moved to Hullavington. Then RAF Lyneham decided that they didn't want the bikers, so they tried to go to Wroughton airfield. Then Wroughton decided that they didn't want the bikers either. So the bikers are now going to ride North through the town and then split up when they get to the top of town, and do what ? There are going to be 10,000 official bikes (plus heaven knows how many unregistered). The organisers say that they are going to leave Hullavington at a rate of 2,000 per hour. So, for five hours there's going to be one bike every 1.8 seconds i.e. total grid lock. That's not just WB, mind you, they'll also clog up Brinkworth, Stanton St Quintin, Corston & Callow Hill. Did anyone ask the residents if they wanted any of this? 'Course not.
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As a resident, I either have to leave home before this mess starts and not go home until it's all over, or I've got to stay at home (or at least within walking distance), because once it all starts, there's going to be no room for any other traffic.
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If these clowns really wanted to do something useful, then they should take their 10,000 bikes and go and clog up Parliament Square for a week, and persuade the MPs to bring the troops home, but no, they'd much rather come and immobilise WB for a day, just to make themselves feel better, and get their mugs on the TV, whilst acheiving absolutely nothing. Wannell & Gillard willl probably get TV time, and much back-slapping as well.
Everyone I've spoken to in WB has every respect for our troops, living or dead, serving or at home. It's just that we're getting sick and tired of vast hoards of "grief tourists" closing the town, almost every week. : The original plan was for the bikers to ride from the services to RAF Lyneham to hand over some charity money. Then the services decided that they didn't want the bikers, so they moved to Hullavington. Then RAF Lyneham decided that they didn't want the bikers, so they tried to go to Wroughton airfield. Then Wroughton decided that they didn't want the bikers either. So the bikers are now going to ride North through the town and then split up when they get to the top of town, and do what ? There are going to be 10,000 official bikes (plus heaven knows how many unregistered). The organisers say that they are going to leave Hullavington at a rate of 2,000 per hour. So, for five hours there's going to be one bike every 1.8 seconds i.e. total grid lock. That's not just WB, mind you, they'll also clog up Brinkworth, Stanton St Quintin, Corston & Callow Hill. Did anyone ask the residents if they wanted any of this? 'Course not. : As a resident, I either have to leave home before this mess starts and not go home until it's all over, or I've got to stay at home (or at least within walking distance), because once it all starts, there's going to be no room for any other traffic. : If these clowns really wanted to do something useful, then they should take their 10,000 bikes and go and clog up Parliament Square for a week, and persuade the MPs to bring the troops home, but no, they'd much rather come and immobilise WB for a day, just to make themselves feel better, and get their mugs on the TV, whilst acheiving absolutely nothing. Wannell & Gillard willl probably get TV time, and much back-slapping as well. Worz
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