Norfolk bike meet-up attended by hundreds is deemed safe by police
PUBLISHED: 08:20 20 August 2020 | UPDATED: 08:20 20 August 2020
A village event which attracts hundreds of bikers from across Norfolk has been deemed safe by police, despite concerns the large gathering could put the community at risk.
Organisers of the weekly Bikes on The Green event in Old Buckenham have reassured the community they are taking every precaution to make sure visitors and local residents are safe.
The event, also known as Two Wheel Tuesday Ltd, is hosted by the Ox and Plough pub and held outside on the village’s 44-acre green, which is owned by Old Buckenham Parish Council.
But with many large gatherings and events cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic, some people have expressed concerns the event, which can attract up to 1,000 people, has been allowed to go ahead.
One resident said: “The immediate concern within the local population is the potential spread of the virus. It has been good for the pub itself, but it’s not really appropriate to have mass gatherings.”
But pub landlord David Charles said: “I have been here for three years and this event was going before I took over the pub.
“If it’s raining, you’re looking at 12 or 15 bikes but if the sun is out, we can have 1,000 people on the green. Residents come out to see the bikes, the children love it and it’s a family day out.
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“Yesterday there was about 488 bikes, we had police present and there was plenty of room for everyone to remain at a safe distance.
“It’s no different than going to the beach or the park, where it’s usually packed.
“But we have signs about social distancing and hand washing, 12 hand sanitising points on the green and there are antibacterial wipes on all of the tables.
“We have put in place anything to prevent the spread of coronavirus and we remind anyone who comes to be sensible – and they always are.”
The event is monitored by police and local authorities who say they understand residents’ concerns but are “satisfied” that all requirements and risk assessments have been put in place.
Norfolk police inspector Richard Freeman said: “We have been made aware of the Two Wheel Tuesday weekly event held by the Ox and Plough in Old Buckenham.
“We continue to liaise with the pub owner and the local authority to ensure that the event is managed safely and as a response to local resident concerns, we have conducted extra patrols in the area, engaging with those attending the event as well as organisers to remind them of these guidelines.”
Mr Charles said the meeting brings “life to the community”, and said it would a “terrible shame” if it had to stop.
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