E-bike riders are terrorising neighbours in Tilehurst, according to recent reports.

Residents have reported youths driving past at speed near Sulham Hill with no helmets on and wearing balaclavas.

One motorist said she had to avoid one driving down the middle of the road.

When she beeped at him, he turned around, pulled his balaclava over his face, gave her two fingers and a throat cutting signal.

Others say the youths are also ripping up the ground at the Cotswold Sports Centre park, accessed off Downs Way in Tilehurst.

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The incidents have prompted councillor Janine Lewis (Liberal Democrats, Tilehurst and Purley) to get involved – but she says she would rather find a solution to the problem than chastise the bikers.

“You don’t hear them coming, and they are generally showing off doing wheelies and donuts and the like,” she explained.

“One of them fell off, so I went to see if he was okay, and had a chat with him to find out why they are doing this.

“He was a lad of about 18, and he was really horrified that people were being scared by the e-bikers.

“Lots of people are angry, but I’d like to find a solution. It made me think we need to come together as a community to sort this out.”

Ms Lewis is the portfolio holder for countryside and leisure at West Berkshire Council, and she has set up meetings to see what can be done about the situation with other members of the council’s executive committee.

“What we really need are bobbies on the beat here.”

“The police do respond to these incidents, but they get there too late,” she said.

“There are similar problems in Purley and Pangbourne, and there is also a problem with drug dealing in these areas.

“It makes me feel like we are failing this section of our community. I’d like to find a solution, like setting up some kind of youth club for them, or if someone had some land they could use.

“But it is more complicated than that as these young people are not necessarily licensed to drive, so getting to any potential land for them to race around would also be an issue.”