TOY RUN TROUBLE

A DECADE old charity motorcycle ride may be cancelled this year over issues with road closures.

Police and club members block local roads to allow riders to travel through town in a group and collect donations.

Organiser Tony Warhurst said police would not assist with traffic this year, putting the St Vincent de Paul Christmas fundraiser at risk.

“I really don’t know if it’s going ahead ... I don’t know what’s going to happen,” he said.

“I don’t want to see it end.

“I’ve been in a position at Christmas time where I’ve had nothing and I know what it feels like.”

The event, which had about 200 participants last December, raises up to $30,000 in food vouchers and toys for needy people each year.

“I would like a little bit more help from the police with traffic management,” Mr Warhurst said.

“The system works great.

“We have never had an issue with the run apart from last year where one woman complained about being 10 minutes late to an appointment in Melbourne.

“We don’t need a lot of help, just a little.”

The ride relies on traffic blocks to ensure all participants travel in a group.

That avoids clogging up roads causing lengthy delays for motorists, Mr Warhurst said.

“There have been no problems,” he said.

“When you have to go through traffic lights you get the whole town, the highway and the back streets congested.

“You end up with 10 different groups of riders who are lost.”

Mr Warhurst expects to find out later this year if the event can still be held.

St Vincent de Paul Bendigo regional president Tony Spurling said he would be “very disappointed” if it was cancelled.

“The bikies work very hard and very long through the year,” he said.

“At the end of the year they contributed about $11,000 to the Christmas appeal.

“It’s a big contribution and it’s not just the money, it’s the toys for the kids at Christmas.

Mr Spurling said the event was the biggest fundraiser for the charity.

Police did not provide comment on Monday. 

That avoids clogging up roads causing lengthy delays for motorists, Mr Warhurst said.

“There have been no problems,” he said.

“When you have to go through traffic lights you get the whole town, the highway and the back streets congested.

“You end up with ten different groups of riders who are lost.”

Mr Warhurst expects to find out later this year if the event can still be held.

St Vincent de Paul Bendigo regional president Tony Spurling said he would be “very disappointed” if it was cancelled.

“The bikies work very hard and very long through the year,” he said.

“At the end of the year they contributed about $11,000 to the Christmas appeal.

“It’s a big contribution and it’s not just the money, it’s the toys for the kids at Christmas.

Mr Spurling said the event was the biggest fundraiser for the charity.

Police did not provide comment on Monday. 

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