Cheddar car meet organisers speak out about not having ‘anywhere else to go’ after public backlash

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 February 2017

Speedwatch in Cheddar Gorge

Speedwatch in Cheddar Gorge

SUB

A group of car enthusiasts has been the victim of public backlash after its meet was shut down by police.

Stance West, a Facebook group for car buffs, organised a meet-up in Cheddar Gorge on February 12 to give its members the chance to meet and talk about their vehicles.

The group’s founder, Nicole Spencer, aged 20, said: “I started the group because there is not a lot for car enthusiasts to do around here.”

Avon and Somerset Constabulary received a number of complaints and shut the event down.

Miss Spencer added: “We do not condone antisocial driving at all and we ask our members to be respectful to residents. However there can be one or two people who do not listen.

“The police released a comment on their Facebook page and we have had a lot of backlash since then.

“We are not like footballers who can meet up at a pitch for a kick-around; we do not have anywhere to go and enjoy our hobby.”

Police and Cheddar Parish Council have been working with highways officers, Longleat – which owns the gorge – Sedgemoor District Council and the National Trust to talk to groups who organise car meets after the village was previously blighted by problems.

Chairman Peter Colton said: “We are happy for them to congregate in Cheddar if they drive carefully and act respectfully but we do not tolerate antisocial driving.”

Antisocial driving can be anything from speeding to cars with loud exhausts.

Inspector Andy Pritchard said: “We will make contact with the organisers to avoid similar issues in the future and to ensure their meets can continue without incidents of antisocial or dangerous driving.”

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