Campaigners have launched a petition to reopen a site used for off-road motorbikes after it was closed following a spate of accidents.

Amanda Bower, of Denholme, instigated the petition to present to Bradford Council calling for the Flappit, a former quarry, to be reopened as a bike-riding centre in a bid to cut the number of illegal riders on the district’s roads.

The unofficial site at Hallas Rough, in nearby Cullingworth, was closed in June 2009 following concerns over noise and safety.

Mark Clifford, of Micklethwaite, died when his quad bike flipped over in one of a series of accidents at the site.

Mrs Bower said: “I am passionate about this. I couldn’t believe it was closed and there was nowhere for my lads to ride bikes when I returned from living in London.

“It’s such a marvellous place and it’s a fun thing to do. It would encourage competitiveness, responsibility for yourself and others, awareness and listening to rules. It’s something constructive to do with your time.

“I haven’t seen anywhere like the Flappit. It would encourage tourism.

“People could camp for a week and bring their trials bikes. It would be a fantastic outdoor facility.”

Bingley Rural Tory councillor Simon Cooke said: “I am sympathetic to the responsible riders who have lost a lot as a result of its closure.

“At the time when they were trying to close the Flappit, I argued quite strongly that the Council should put together a safe, maintained place for off-road bikers.

“I would rather that than having people using small bits of land.”

However, he said that creating an off-road biking centre at the Flappit might prove difficult because the Council did not own the land.

There is also planning permission to restore the former quarry, which has yet to start, he said.

A report published in 2006 pointed out stumbling blocks to a legal site, including planning permission, noise nuisance, community resistance and the cost. It suggested formalising a dedicated site at the Flappit, but said that riders could have no legal means of getting their bikes to the site on the road.

Bikes, including mini-motorbikes and trial bikes, cannot be ridden legally on streets, paths, or in parks and riders can be prosecuted for having no licence, insurance, MoT and helmet. Police also have powers to seize and crush bikes.

In 2006, the cost of opening a legal off-road track was expected to be between £750,000 and £1 million, with revenue costs of £150,000 per year.

Coun Cooke said: “If it were to be reopened, then it would have to be run properly.

“But right now I don’t know whether the Council has the kind of money to do that.

“I would certainly call for the Council to sit down and talk to people and be positive about providing a safe facility for off-road bikers, but the Flappit may not be the right place for it.”