Cyclists and hikers have been arguing whether or not mountain bikes should be allowed on the East Coast Trail, and now the mayor of Torbay says bikers have caused enough trouble on private paths in his town.

Many parts of the East Coast Trail are part of a protected conservation area, but Torbay Mayor Ralph Tapper said people haven't been treating it as such.

Ralph Tapper

Torbay Mayor Ralph Tapper says bikes and motorized vehicles have made enough mess on the trails in his town, and he's not inclined to support them going on the East Coast Trail. (CBC)

"We've got quads, we've got motorized bikes, we've got pickup trucks coming down and meeting hikers along the trail and it's pretty dangerous, and they leave behind a mess for an association like the East Coast Trail group to maintain," he said.

Tapper said signs banning bikes and other modes of transportation have been ignored, prompting him to write a letter supporting the East Coast Trail Association in its efforts to limit the path to foot traffic.

"We don't need motorized vehicles or any kind of wheels on the trails because somebody's got to follow up and improve and maintain it," he said.

Chris Boyce mountain biker

Chris Boyce says mountain bikers don't seem to be welcome on any trials or sidewalks anywhere in the city. (CBC)

However, mountain bikers say they're nothing like the people who tear up the trail.

Chris Boyce, a mountain bike organizer, said there's a way for hikers and mountain bikers to co-exist on the trail, but he says they're not getting a fair chance to prove that.

"We do get marginalized. We're not wanted on the roads, we're not wanted on the Grand Concourse trails, and now, with the East Coast Trail Association, they don't want us ... ," said Boyce.

Tapper said he's willing to take part in the ongoing discussion with all parties at the table.