Bikers gather for Bulldog Bash

Festival-goers are gathering in Warwickshire for Europe's biggest biker event, the Bulldog Bash.

Hells Angels better check their motorcycle breakdown cover before heading off to the four-day event at Long Marston, near Stratford-upon-Avon, now in its 24th year and boasting a quarter-mile drag racing strip.

The festival has been mired in controversy in recent years amid concerns over rival biker gang clashes.

Police have twice requested a review of the 10-year licence granted to the Bulldog Bash after the murder of a Hells Angel on the M40 as he rode home from the festival in 2007. Local councillors turned down both requests.

Warwickshire Police said they still opposed the staging of the event and Assistant Chief Constable Bill Holland added he recognised road closures imposed over the last two years were inconvenient to locals.

Mr Holland said: "There will still be a significant policing operation surrounding the event and Warwickshire Police will continue to do all within its power to protect communities from harm. However, having listened to the views of the local community, this year's operation will not involve permanent static road closures around the Long Marston site."

A Bulldog Bash spokesman welcomed the force's decision.

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