THE police “can never catch” off-road bikes illegally tearing down a city footpath and A-road, an officer has admitted.

But plans are in place for a new metal fence in the hopes of deterring the problem.

PC Jason Hart said the bikers continue to cause “trouble” in Warndon Villages, particularly around A4440 Trotshill Way, but said officers can only do so much to stop them.

“The trouble is motorbikes – they are out for that reason, aren’t they? It’s a straight road or they’re on the bypass,” he told a Warndon Parish Council meeting.

“We can’t catch them – we can never catch them.”

One resident, whose house backs onto Trotshill Lane East, said “one of the things that is contributing to the problem” is the pedestrian gate linking the estate to the A-road.

He said the fence next to the gate is “nowhere near fit for purpose” and has been “vandalised very quickly”.

“Now it is totally non-existent, so gives a wonderful thoroughfare for the motorbikes just to drive off Trotshill Lane and straight down Trotshill Lane East, and ignore the speed limit laws as they go,” he added.

County councillor Andy Roberts, also at the meeting on Monday, said the wooden fencing has been damaged at least twice this year but a metal replacement has been ordered.

“The original metal fence that was spec'd I didn’t think was good enough, so they stopped that and this one’s a little bit stronger, and hopefully with the metal fence and the planting it will stop it.

“Problem is, it will be expensive – I can’t prevent that being vandalised. The more expensive, the more expensive to repair.”

The councillor added that a toucan crossing where the A-road meets the footpath on one side and an unnamed lane leading onto Trotshill Lane East on the other, is set to be installed on Thursday or Friday.

The stretch of road will also be reduced to 40mph as part of the scheme which has also seen red LED lights installed to provide a bat crossing towards Warndon Wood nature reserve.

Speaking to the Worcester News after the meeting, Cllr Roberts said he hopes the 40mph limit will further help to “put off the illegal motorcyclists”.

Earlier this month, several police officers from Warndon, Gorse Hill and Nunnery gathered on the footpaths of the new Worcester Six Business Park and seized two bikes from riders aged under 16.

Cllr Roberts said the police action was taken after the last time the footpath fencing was vandalised, admitting: “The problem has not gone away, but it is not what it was.”

“Police have done a great deal to stop this,” he continued. “It’s a heck of a job for them. They can hardly wait for someone to come along at the end of the road.”

He added that it’s “frustrating” that the new metal fencing has taken so long to get sorted.

The footpath on the M5 bridge side of the A4440 is also classed as a bridle way for horses to use.

Former councillor and interim clerk Ray Morris said 18 months ago the parish council had been asked if it would object to the bridle way being “put down the back of the school” to “tie in” with this work.

In response, Cllr Roberts said: “If you open this hornets’ nest you do so at your own risk. We’re having that fence put there, that’s all I’m saying.”

He later told the Worcester News: “I find it very frustrating that we do all sorts of things and spend a lot of money to accommodate horse riders and it will never be used for that.”