BOY racers who have been using a stretch of road like a race track to allegedly record their cars’ highest speeds will be treated as a ‘matter of urgency’ – after a councillor revealed he fears it is a ‘recipe for disaster’.
The A628 Cudworth Parkway is being used by motorists ‘nightly’, with large groups of people in powerful vehicles being witnessed congregating at a start point on Bleach Croft Farm’s roundabout.
Onlookers have reported their concerns in their droves to police this week, after it was claimed that cars are being driven from the roundabout on a straight stretch to another roundabout which has a junction with Weetshaw Lane.
Coun Joe Hayward, who represents the Cudworth ward, believes the boy racers are using the roundabout to do a loop to come back to the starting point and timing themselves in the process.
He said that residents’ concerns have been relayed to the police and the matter will be dealt with.
“The road’s been used, on and off, for things like this for many years but we’re aware it’s become more of an issue recently,” he said.
“I’ve also heard from residents on Pontefract Road, which connects to the A628, as they’ve heard and seen the cars drive by.
“Aside from the danger they pose to other road users, add speed into the equation and it’s a recipe for disaster for themselves as well – there’s a long, straight road in between the two roundabouts and we believe they’re using it as their own race track.
“It’s a matter of urgency and councillors are in touch with the Barnsley North East Policing Team.
“I fear it’s only a matter of time before there will be a crash – it’s a very dangerous situation.”
The situation has been likened to scenes which occurred just several miles down the road in Hemsworth when a large congregation of boy racers – the majority of whom were from Barnsley – used straighter sections to record how fast they could go.
Tragedy struck in 2015 when four youngsters were killed when Daniel Raynor, of Windhill Lane, Staincross, lost control of his Nissan 350Z at 144mph.
He received a nine-year prison sentence and was disqualified from driving for 15 years while his passenger, Matthew Todd, of Weaver Close, Higham, was jailed for eight-and-a-half years and banned for a decade.
A four-week trial at Leeds Crown Court also found seven other Barnsley men guilty of encouraging dangerous driving after a jury was told they participated in the ‘Fast and Furious-style’ event which saw cars race against each other on the single-carriageway road.
Coun Hayward added: “Cudworth Parkway is a very similar road and we want to avoid a collision at all costs as we have seen the devastation speeding can cause.
“There are a few options to deter them from doing so, whether it’s a fixed speed camera or more police patrols at night, and we’re discussing what can be done with officers.
“Many people are complaining about the problems so clearly we need to solve this sooner rather than later.”
Boy racers can expect tougher sanctions after police announced a no-nonsense approach to careless driving – which includes seizing vehicles.
Sergeant Brandon Brown said: “We are traffic officers and car enthusiasts ourselves so we understand people’s passion for wanting to meet, admire each other’s work and come together.
“What we do not condone is the use of our roads for antisocial behaviour and poor driving.
“The antisocial behaviour associated with car meets causes concern for the residents of Barnsley and we need to ensure that they are not affected by noise, pollution or damage to our roads infrastructure.
“We will take enforcement action where necessary.
“Dispersal powers can and will be used against those that gather and act antisocially and checks will be conducted against drivers’ insurance, licence and car modifications.
“Those driving antisocially may find themselves prosecuted and cars seized under the Police Reform Act Section 59.”