High Court injunction could put the brakes on Stevenage’s car cruises

PUBLISHED: 10:39 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:58 11 August 2020

The future of car cruising in Stevenage will be decided by the High Court later this month. Picture: Archant

The future of car cruising in Stevenage will be decided by the High Court later this month. Picture: Archant

Archant

The future of car cruises in Stevenage will be decided at High Court later this month, as the council has applied for an injunction that would ban car cruising in the town.

Popular groups such as Herts Car Society and Cruise-Herts have planned car meets in Stevenage for years. Picture: Steph Ansell.Popular groups such as Herts Car Society and Cruise-Herts have planned car meets in Stevenage for years. Picture: Steph Ansell.

Stevenage Borough Council has today announced that they have applied for a car cruising ban, which will seek to restrain those driving in convoys, racing against one another and anti-social behaviour.

A remote hearing will be heard by Luton District Registry on August 20 at 2pm.

Within their claim, the council say they and the police have “received numerous complaints from residents about the nuisance and anti-social behaviour that is caused by or as a result of the street-cruising”.

The council also argues that car meets cause “a significant risk of harm to local businesses, residents, workers and road users”.

In July 2019, emergency services vehicles had to respond to a crash in Monkswood Way, Stevenage that saw 19 people injured. Picture: Magpas Air AmbulanceIn July 2019, emergency services vehicles had to respond to a crash in Monkswood Way, Stevenage that saw 19 people injured. Picture: Magpas Air Ambulance

Cllr Sharon Taylor, leader of Stevenage Borough Council said: “The aim of the application is to prevent car cruises and the associated anti-social behaviour, nuisance and damage from occurring within the borough.

“We are taking steps to give appropriate notice of the application so that those who may wish to contest it are able to do so.”

These activities will be subject to restrictions should the injunction succeed:
• Driving or riding at excessive speed, or otherwise dangerously

• Driving or riding in convoy

• Racing against other motorvehicles

• Performing stunts in or on motor-vehicles

• Sounding horns or playing radios

You may also want to watch:

• Dropping litter

• Supplying or using illegal drugs

• Urinating in public

• Shouting or swearing at, or abusing, threatening or otherwise intimidating another person

• Obstruction of any other road-user

• Stopping or parking vehicles or otherwise congregating at the location of a street cruise for the purpose of watching it.

Although certain hotspots have been used for car meets in the past, including Roaring Meg car park, Fairlands Valley and Monkswood Way, the injunction will seek to ban car meets in the entire district of Stevenage.

Steph Ansell, co-founder of Herts Car Society, believes this is another example of the car enthusiast community being “tarnished with the same brush”.

She said: “When we do hold our meets we notify all the local authorities who are in attendance for safety reasons. We also do no accept any claims of anti-social behaviour and are strictly static.

READ MORE: Drivers plead not guilty over Stevenage car meet crash which injured 19 people

“Once again the car community is being tarnished with the same brush from a small minority that cannot follow the rules.

“We would never cause any harm to any individual of the public. The term ‘street cruising’ is completely different to what we actually hold which is a social gathering.

“We at Herts Car Society plan to show that the car scene isn’t what everyone thinks, and to show we are a safe respectful community.”

This time last year, a planned static meet that was organised by Cruise-Herts turned into tragedy, as 19 people were injured at the scene of a crash between two vehicles on Monkswood Way in the town.

Two men charged in connection with the crash have both pleaded not guilty to all 19 charges at court.


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