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Up to 5,000 bikers are expected to descend on Southend seafront for a “Shakedown” despite the official annual ride out being cancelled.

The Southend Shakedown would have marked its 19th year on Easter Monday, but organisers from the Ace Cafe, in north London, said they were forced to pull the plug because of rising policing costs.

Despite that an unofficial event with the same name is being promoted on social media. A Facebook page with almost 5,000 members even suggests the event retains the support of the local authority.

However, no event application has been submitted to Southend Council and no safety plan is in place.

Southend shakedown

Councillor Ann Holland said: “Claims by those promoting the event that it is backed by the council with support from seafront businesses are entirely false.

“Previous Shakedown events have had safety plans in place, marshalling, signage, stalls and parking arrangements. This is not the case this year and anyone who attends may be severely disappointed and potentially putting themselves at risk.”

The council is in discussion with police to determine what enforcement action can be taken but there is already an injunction banning unauthorised cruise events on the seafront.

Southend Shakedown

A spokesman for the Seafront Traders Association said: “The bikers have been coming here for nearly 20 years and as a business, we welcome people to the seafront as long as they act and behave properly.”

Police Superintendent Glen Pavelin added: “We will have a visible presence in Southend and policing teams deployed to make sure that all road users are acting responsibly.”

Wherever you plan to spend the Easter bank holiday, make sure your motorcycle insurance is up to date.

The Ace Cafes’ rallies to Brighton later on Saturday, April 22, and Margate on bank holiday Monday, May 29, are still scheduled to go ahead.

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