AROUND 2,500 bikers took part in this year's "cancelled" Egg Run raising thousands for sick children and thumbing a nose at the bureaucracy that tried to ban it.

Bikers travelled from across the UK and continental Europe to gather for the 26th annual Egg Run ignoring warnings from police and Wirral Council that the event was off.

Organisers were delighted with the turnout and the trouble-free day, declaring it a victory for good causes and common sense.

Officially, the event had been scrapped because new Government safety regulations would have meant organisers had to raise in the region of £30,000 to pay for marshalling along the route.

It was the second year running the Egg Run had been cancelled in an official form but still went ahead anyway.

Egg Run committee chairman Geoffrey Wheatcroft estimated that around 2,500 bikers took part in the unofficial event, which ran through Wirral from New Brighton promenade to Clatterbridge Hosp-ital.

"We collected in excess of £5,000 and we have half-filled a seven-and-a-half ton lorry full of Easter Eggs, so it's safe to say it was a success," he said.

"We probably would have raised a lot more, as we have in previous years, but because we weren't an official' event we weren't allowed to collect donations from bystanders along the route.

"The fact it was so successful makes a complete mockery of the insistence by the council and the police over new safety rules and regulations.

"Everyone who took part did so sensibly, raising a lot of money and bringing a smile to an awful lot of faces. How anyone can even try to ban that is beyond me. The good news is they failed utterly."

Money is still coming in from collections organised in pubs and clubs around Wirral in aid of the Egg Run appeal.

All this year's proceeds are going to the Globe-backed Jellybean Appeal for sick children, while all the Easter Eggs collected will be given to children being treated at Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge Hospitals.

Since Sunday, the Globe has been inundated with emails and phone calls praising the bikers for taking part in the Egg Run.

Chris Lamb, from Eastham, wrote: "It would have been nice for the council and police to stop the traffic and to let the Egg Run flow as it has done in previous years. But in the end we didn't need either of them. Hundreds of people turned out to wave and give thumbs up (including waving St George flags with messages of support written on).

"All in all a good day was had by everyone and the eggs and donations got through."

Chris Rogerson, from Spital, said: "It was a pure show of strength on behalf of all bikers. It shows that people are passionate about what is a very Wirral institution.

"Thousands of bikes lined the front and even more people showing their support lined the whole route, on what essentially was a poor day in terms of weather.

"No police, no helicopters and for the 26th year running, no trouble. An orderly ride out with all observing the Highway Code to the letter.

"The looks on people's faces was a joy to see, and clearly a kick in the teeth for the killjoys in authority who strive to end this each time and deprive an oh-so important cause of desperately needed funds."

Chris Evans, from Upton, added: "In these days of the nanny state, when most things are too dangerous or not politically correct, the people of Wirral deserve a pat on the back."

And Wendy Bell, from Moreton, said: "Once again I have been reduced to tears with pride and admiration at seeing the bikers.

"I have watched them for years, and I can't understand why they can't get the support they rightly deserve.

"I enjoy my cry every year and whilst a bike still comes through Moreton Cross, they will have my support and tears.

"It's a joy watching you, and a sense of satisfaction that you all stand firm on your loyalty to it. Let it still continue to proceed."