Seafront boy racers - demand for action

PUBLISHED: 06:57 25 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:20 24 May 2010

RESIDENTS in Burnham say their lives are being disrupted because motorists are speeding past their houses until the early hours of the morning. Sidonie Ball and her husband Reg live on the Esplanande and say they now sleep atthe back of the house because

RESIDENTS in Burnham say their lives are being disrupted because motorists are speeding past their houses until the early hours of the morning.Sidonie Ball and her husband Reg live on the Esplanande and say they now sleep atthe back of the house because of the noise.Mrs Ball said: "It is noisy and dangerous. We sometimes get up to 10 cars at a time parked up opposite my house with the doors open and music blaring."During the summer the council has put parking charges lasting all night on this road, so nobody parks there. The road is therefore empty and turns into a race track."My husband and I have had to move bedrooms because of the noise. When we used to have the windows open at the front we could even hear their conversations and I wasn't sleeping."My husband has been to town council meetings but has had no success."Another couple, Ron and Dulcie Palfry, who live in Steart Drive say they have similar problems.Mrs Palfrey said: "You can't have the bedroom windows open and you can feel the vibrations from the music and engines."The drivers go round Somerfield carpark and do u-turns."You can understand them congregating somewhere because where else can they go. But it doesn't help if you live here."Residents say the problem of speeding along the Esplanade has been going on for years.Last month Burnham town council wrote to Tony Shire, the portfolio holder for highways at Somerset County Council to ask him to go to a town improvements committee meeting to discuss the problem. Mr Shire, who has been to a town council meeting, wrote back to say: "We have considered a traffic calming scheme for the Esplanade at Burnham in the Local Transport Plan 2 (LTP2) prioritisation and it has scored a very low value for money rating primarily because it has a very limited impact on the range of LTP2 indicators we need to address."As a result of the letter, the town council has decided to write to the chief executive at Somerset County Council. Burnham's MP David Heathcoat-Amory has given his backing to the town council.Mr Heathcoat-Amory said: "The ongoing problem of speeding and anti-social driving on South Esplanade at Burnham and anti-social driving in the Pier Street car park at night has resulted in local interested parties offering to join forces to find a solution."This is exactly the sort of anti-social behaviour we should be targeting, particularly in the summer months. This is not only a road safety problem but also threatens the heart of the tourist industry.

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