Future of ‘car-cruising’ in Stevenage remains up in air after injunction decision delayed

The future of 'car cruising' in Stevenage was due to be made by Luton County Court today. Picture: S

The future of 'car cruising' in Stevenage was due to be made by Luton County Court today. Picture: Steph Ansell. - Credit: Archant

A decision that could have banned ‘car cruising’ in Stevenage has been delayed after a district judge postponed making a decision on the case.

District Judge Baljinder Gill reserved judgement at an online hearing today, after Stevenage Borough Council had announced their decision to seek an injunction against ‘car cruisers’ in the town earlier this month.

The council intends to make it an arrestable offence to participate in a car cruise, namely to be a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle. Anyone else at the cruise, either spectating or otherwise, will not be subject to an arrest.

Motorcycles had been removed from the injunction in a last-minute alteration by the council, following objections from the public.

The hearing was heard by Luton County Court remotely and lawyers from Hertfordshire County Council’s Legal Services team represented Stevenage Borough Council on the day.

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In the council’s view, the issue of car cruising dates back many years and has worsened, particularly in recent years – arguing that local residents, businesses and other road users had fought against this sort of behaviour.

At the two hour hearing, the tragic events of July 18 last year, where 18 people were injured after two cars collided with one another, were referenced.

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Jonathan Manning, representing Stevenage Borough Council, said: “Although that was Cruise-Herts’ final static meet, it has by no means stopped the car cruise scene.”

Mr Manning argued that Stevenage has been “a historic magnet” for car-cruising and the anti-social behaviour associated with it.

He continued: “Stevenage is a town that unfortunately has a large number of areas for this type of activity.”

“We are aiming to stop cars racing each other on highways, driving dangerously in convoy, cars performing stunts in shop car parks.

“But, these are not the only problems that are complained about. Large amounts of litter and debris are just left on the ground after a cruise has taken place.

“These are dropped on the floor for shops or the council to deal with. Few toilets are available and people leave human waste as well. Loud music is also a problem.

“Erratic and dangerous driving is at the heart of this application. This is a problem that’s continuing into the present and has been going on for a long time.”

These activities would be subject to restrictions should the injunction succeed:

• Driving excessive speed, or otherwise dangerously

• Driving in convoy

• Racing against other motorvehicles

• Performing stunts in or on motor-vehicles

• Sounding horns or playing radios

• 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

The date of the next hearing has not yet been confirmed.

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