Bike path ‘booby trapped’ to injure riders

Users of the shared path are being warned to be vigilant (Source: Westlink M7)

Dangerous traps designed to injure riders have been found strung across a Sydney bike path.

The discovery of the snares over repeated days on the Westlink M7 shared path in Sydney’s North West, has prompted a warning to pedestrians and cyclists to be vigilant.

Booby traps were found by a cycling group in two locations along the shared path on Thursday evening at Kings Langley and yesterday.

Concerned for their safety, regular users have reported a number of incidents, including lines stretched across the path as well as rocks and other objects. Cyclists have also had items thrown at them from the bridges along the route and trail bikes using the pathway.

They say it’s just a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or even killed.

A line stretched across the bike path at Kings Langley. (Photo: Kim Giusa)

Kim Giusa, a resident in Sydney’s Hills District regularly uses the 40-kilometre-long cycleway that aligns with the M7 motorway from Prestons to Baulkham Hills and posted the discovery of the traps on her Facebook page.

Mrs Giusa, a cyclist for over five years, told Hatch: “It’s not an isolated incident, it’s reoccurring traps that are constantly set. Coming off your bike at 25-30kms per hour is going to seriously break you – literally.

“There are also people who camp up under some of the bridges and just throw rocks. My friend had rocks thrown at her the other week and another was spat on. This is just so unsafe. It seriously is going to be a death trap and they will not do anything until it is too late.

“The incidents have all been reported by a number of people a number of times, I was told that it was too expensive to have police patrol this track constantly,” Mrs Giusa added.

Ms Giusa’s Facebook post has prompted concern from Hills District residents who have shared the post to warn their friends about the dangerous obstacles.

Trail bikes being used illegally on M7 cycleway (Source: Kim Giusa)

Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs Bastien Wallis reported the incidents to NSW Police who are aware of an “ongoing issue” with local residents and trail bike riders using the shared use path.

“NSW Police have warned that the traps are likely to be targeted at the trail and dirt bike riders using the shared path illegally and not intended to harm others using the route,” Ms Wallis said.

“It is obvious that someone could be seriously hurt and even though pedestrians and cyclists are not the intended targets, they could be unintentional victims of these traps. We have reported it to NSW Police but without CCTV evidence and a time of day it is hard to catch someone in the act, they have asked us to call them if it happens again.”

Between 200 and 350 cyclists use the M7 cycleway at Glenwood on an average weekday, with greater numbers on the weekends, according to the NSW government.

Rocks are arranged across the path under a bridge to trip up cyclists. (Photo: Kim Giusa)

A spokesperson for the Westlink M7 shared path said they are aware of the anti-social behaviour and their inspectors regularly attend the area to ensure safety for their users.

“Westlink M7 takes safety on the shared path, and anti-social issues, very seriously,” the spokesman said.

“Our inspectors also carry out planned inspections twice weekly along the shared path. We are in contact with Riverstone Police Station.  We encourage all shared path users to be vigilant and report any issues to NSW Police, for investigation.”

Shared path users can contact Westlink M7 to report any safety matters by calling 02 9834 9200 or email info@westlinkm7.com.au.

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Student Journalist - Macleay College