Skaters face ban from Barking Town Square if byelaw passed at council meeting

Skaterboarders in Barking Town Square

Skaterboarders in Barking Town Square - Credit: Archant

Councillors are expected to pass a byelaw banning skateboarding in Barking town Square later today.

It comes off the back of a three-month consultation with residents in Arboretum Place and Barking Town Square following repeated complaints about the noise and nuisance caused by a group of young people who skateboard in the area.

If implemented, ignoring the ban would cost each offender £500 or make them subject to a community order.

Speaking to the Post last summer, skateboarders said they had nowhere else to go that was safe.

In a report about the proposed ban, by anti-social behaviour manager Katehrine Gilcreest, it states: “Residents consider [skaters] to be a danger to other users of the space and a considerable nuisance late into the night.”

Under the new byelaw it would be forbidden for any person “to skate, slide or ride on rollers, skateboards or other self propelled vehicles in such a manner as to cause danger or give reasonable grounds for annoyance to other persons”.

Legitimate or considerate use of other wheeled vehicles such as bicycles, scooters or wheelchairs would not be banned however.

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A total of 61 per cent of the 94 individuals consulted supported the ban, with 81pc feeling that skateboarding had a negative impact on the area.

Only 1pc of those consulted were skatboarders while 84pc were residents in the area affected. The remaining individuals either worked in the area — at Barking Learning Centre or the Town Hall — or were visiting for another reason.

The report also claims meetings with skateboarders to try to resolve the matter, including implementing a curfew and suggestions for alternative venues, proved unsuccessful.

The skateboarders were said to identify themselves as “street skaters” and as a result unlikely to use any designated skate park.

Despite the ban, skating and similar activities would be allowed in the area as part of an organised event — for example ice-skating over the Christmas period.