Mums with 'children in pushchairs' at 'dangerous' car cruiser meets in Hucknall
Coun Chris Baron (Con), who represents Hucknall West, spoke up during a full Ashfield District Council.
It was during a discussion to ratify extended powers to crack down on nuisance and anti-social behaviour in public spaces.
The public spaces protection order (PSPO) has been varied to give the council more powers to stop issues at the motorway junction, described by councillors as a “real problem” for police.
Debating the PSPO in Thursday’s full council meeting, councillors described scenes of people being “genuinely frightened” by the cars and said concerned residents had contacted them late in the evenings about the problem.
Large crowds of people have been reported watching cars “worth anything from £40,000” and with expensive modifications, leading to traffic lights being set up around the loop of the busy M1 junction.
The issue also extends to the car park at Hucknall's main Tesco store on Ashgate Road and police have been conducting regular patrols and enforcement action in the areas in question.
The PSPO will now restrict car cruising in the area and give the council more powers to issue fines to those responsible.
Coun Baron (Con) added: “This is good news, particularly up at Junction 27 where I once went to the police [about this].
“The number of people up there, including mothers and children in pushchairs, observing, and [the drivers] make people genuinely frightened of the cars.”
He also raised concerns over the “boy racers” congregating at the McDonald’s, near Tesco in Hucknall, before using the nearby roads as a “circuit”.
Councillor David Martin (Ash Ind), who represents nearby Selston, says the problem has been a “difficult issue” to tackle.
“[The PSPO] is a very important paper, but in particular I want to highlight the work done at Junction 27,” he said.
“This includes Highways England, which has installed traffic lights at the junction. That helped to stop the circular route and cars ripping around the corner.
“When they do that, you can hear them right around Selston, up Annesley Lane and in Underwood, because the tyres screech.
“At times I’d come through that junction and there would be upwards of 300, even 400 people sat on the banks watching, but the police have now put some cameras up there.
“These are not boy racers, these are people with cars worth anything from £40,000 with improvements on. It has been a real problem and a difficult issue for the police.”
Inspector Mark Dickson, Nottinghamshire Police’s district commander for Ashfield, is also supporting the new measures.
He said: “We realise people put a lot of work into their cars and are often very proud of them. However, too many end up driving in a dangerous, reckless or anti-social manner, which puts other road users and themselves at risk of serious injury or death.”