Lancashire Constabulary Logo

Motorbike and quad nuisance

Operation Propulsion

Illegal motorcycles and riders can pose a real danger to other road users, pedestrians and be a serious threat to public safety.

That’s why we have launched Operation Propulsion – an operation dedicated to tackling motor nuisance.

We want to make you aware of the laws about owning and riding motorcycles so that owners/riders can behave responsibly and people who are affected by motorcycle nuisance know how to report it and what we can do about it.

We are working closely with partners to combat the problem and have a number of powers we can use that can lead to seizing nuisance motorcycles and quad bikes.

Before you buy

If you are considering buying a motorcycle, quad bike or go-ped for a child, please ensure that whoever is selling it can provide proof of ownership and that it isn’t stolen.

Remember that the vehicle will require public liability insurance.

Riding a motorcycle in public areas is an offence.

Prosecution could lead to a fine, penalty points and disqualification.

The police could seize the vehicle and you will have to pay for removal and storage.

You could face unlimited civil claims for damages and injuries.

To drive on the road legally:

Driving Licence and Insurance A driving licence is required to ride a motorcycle.

Learners must complete the appropriate CBT course to allow them to ride a motorcycle up to 125cc. To ride anything higher than this a motorcycle test is required.

A motorcycle must have insurance to be in any public place, whether the motorcycle is being ridden, is parked, or is only being pushed.

A current MOT Certificate will be required for all motorcycles more than three years old. This is required whether the motorcycle is being ridden, parked or is being pushed on the highway.

To be on the road legally, a motorcycle must have a registration number and a current road tax disc, again, whether the motorcycle is being ridden, is parked, or is only being pushed.

To be on the road legally, a motorcycle must have essential equipment fitted which is in good working order, including lights, brakes, brake-lights, horn, speedometer, good tyres etc. These are required even if the motorcycle is only being pushed.

Without all of the above, riders are breaking the law and run the risk of fines, confiscation, prosecution or even imprisonment.

Noise issues

Noise caused by nuisance motorcycles can be a concern for residents. You can report this direct to your local council, which has powers under the Environmental Protection Act to take action.

Where can you ride?

You need the landowners’ permission if riding a motorcycle on private land.  Even if you have permission you must ride responsibly and not cause damage to livestock, farmland, playfields or parks. If riders are caught causing criminal damage they can be arrested.

Section 59 Police Reform Act 2002

You must not ride a motorcycle, quad bike or go-ped in a manner which contravenes the road traffic act.  If a rider is caught using any type of off-road motorbike or quad bike in a Section 59 area it is against the law and anyone found using one will have their vehicle seized.

How to report motorcycle nuisance

If you are experiencing problems in your area, you can report online via or call 101.

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.