Concern as boy racer problem returns to J27

05-2038-2           JH            270805'Annesley M1 junction 27 laybys
05-2038-2 JH 270805'Annesley M1 junction 27 laybys

SEVERAL years after the authorities thought they had put a stop to ‘boy racers’ gathering at junction 27 of the M1, the problem has returned.

Residents in Annesley are complaining that dozens of young drivers are again meeting up to race on the roads from the junction 27 island down the A608 to the roundabout at Sherwood Business Park.

They gather in the evening and late into the night at weekends, disturbing residents due to the loud noise of their engines and exhausts.

Peter Olko, chairman of Annesley community group ACCESS, said: “It is very unpleasant to hear this noise until 11pm at weekends.

“I was amazed at the level of the noise, and when passing this area I have seen that the organisation includes low-loaders and repair vans for when vehicles break down or blow an engine. There are also spectators stood on the natural banking.”

Bob Collier, the group’s vice-chairman, added that people living at the top of Forest Road seem to be particularly badly-affected by it due to the direction the noise travels.

Coun Don Davis, who represents the Woodhouse ward on Ashfield District Council, said that he has received a number of complaints from residents about the issue.

“It has not been around for a couple of years then all of a sudden it’s as it was in 2009,” he said.

Coun Davis said that it is important that the problem is ‘nipped in the bud’ now so that it does not escalate to previous levels. He has informed Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire County Council.

Chad reported in 2007 that up to 500 ‘boy racers’ would congregate near to the junction to race each other and show off their cars on Sunday nights.

Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras were then put up along the A608 to stop it, after an injunction preventing vehicles from congregating, racing on the highway and causing a danger to road users, was overturned following a legal challenge.

Coun Mick Murphy, chairman of Community Safety at the County Council said: “We are saddened to hear reports that some motorists are again putting the lives of other road users and the peace of local residents in jeopardy through driving selfishly and erratically on the roads near to junction 27 of the M1. This type of activity will not be tolerated anywhere in Nottinghamshire.

“Local councils and the police will be monitoring the area closely through the use of increased patrols, CCTV and ANPR cameras.”

Coun Murphy added that they will try to secure an injunction to stop it if appropriate.

Ashfield South Neighbourhood Inspector Nick Butler said: “Our job is to ensure the roads are a safe place for all. Dangerous or inconsiderate driving will not be tolerated.

“Junction 27 of the M1 and the surrounding roads are not appropriate places for large groups of vehicles to congregate. Speeding and racing is not only dangerous to those participating and those sharing the roads but it is also a noise nuisance to nearby residents.

“We have a number of tactics deployed in the area to help us identify the culprits. Once evidence has been gathered we will be issuing summons. We are also considering writing to insurance companies.”