Cheddar Gorge 30mph limit to curb boy racers

PUBLISHED: 17:30 13 July 2016

Speedwatch in Cheddar Gorge

Speedwatch in Cheddar Gorge

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Somerset County Council is leading a proposal to reduce the speed limit in Cheddar Gorge to 30mph to curb antisocial driving.

Speedwatch in Cheddar GorgeSpeedwatch in Cheddar Gorge

The proposal is still in the early stages and must go through the legal procedures and public discussion.

Cheddar Parish Council chairman Peter Colton said: “The parish think it will be a benefit to Cheddar. The proposal will go out to the public consultation and if there are no objections we would see the scheme in place by the end of the year.”

Cliff Road, where the proposed speed limit change will take place, is currently 60mph. The road runs along the bottom of the gorge and is the perfect track for ‘boy racers’.

Cllr Colton said he believes the rise in boy racers has been ‘brought about by the success of social media’, making it easier to ‘raise a crowd’.

Speedwatch in Cheddar GorgeSpeedwatch in Cheddar Gorge

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “We’ve been working closely with the local community and partner agencies to consider the issue of antisocial and dangerous driving in and around Cheddar, including the gorge.

“Following these discussions, it has been proposed to reduce the speed limit to 30mph.”

The police have already seen a noticeable decline in speeding and traffic offences on the road.

Beat manager PC Tracey Stiles said: “We are working together to identify issues and sustainable solutions to deal with the concerns that the community of Cheddar have raised.

“It is encouraging to see that our patrols are having a positive impact. The number of calls has gone down in comparison to last year.”

Last year, Avon and Somerset Constabulary released the number of reported offences in the gorge between August 11 to September 14.

The data showed a total of 14 drivers had been issued with traffic offences, eight drivers were given notices for minor defects, one vehicle was seized for no insurance, four drivers were issued with a warning for antisocial behaviour.

Three individuals were told to leave the area, one driver was arrested for drink-driving, and 18 drivers were caught speeding by speed enforcement officers.

PC Stiles said: “We are really happy to welcome people to the village, including the car enthusiasts, but we ask people to respect the residents, behave properly and drive safely.”

Police urge anyone who witnesses dangerous driving to contact 999.

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