Police and parish council crack down on anti-social driving with new scheme

Dangerous driving Cheddar.

Dangerous driving Cheddar. - Credit: Cheddar Parish Council

A council has teamed up with the police to tackle anti-social driving through one of Britain’s most spectacular landmarks.

Cheddar Parish Council, together with Avon and Somerset police, is stepping up its campaign against speeding and antisocial driving in Cheddar Gorge and the village.

The village has suffered from various forms of bad driving for several years and, despite the efforts by the police, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset Highways and Longleat and National Trust, the community continues to fall foul to the irresponsible driving.

Residents continue to report problems, particularly in the evenings after dark, citing cars spinning in the car parks, noisy vehicles and the village being used as a race circuit.

A parish council spokesman said: "Hotels and other accommodation owners say they are losing business because guests are so disturbed at night by thoughtless drivers.

"It was hoped that the introduction of the 30mph speed limit in the gorge would reduce the problem, but it hasn't.

"Some of the issues arise from large scale car meets which gather in the gorge, others are created by individual drivers, some of whom live locally."

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In 2017, a 30mph speed limit was introduced on Cliff Road, which was previously 60mph.

Now the parish council is distributing leaflets to homes and businesses on the major roads affected in Cheddar and asking people to record the incidents of speeding, dangerous driving and other anti-social driving, such as drifting, loud exhausts and loud music.

Cllr Anne Fontaine, parish chairman of Highways and Open Spaces, said "In the past we have asked people to report problems to the police; many have done so, others have got disheartened by perceived lack of action.

"Our leaflet should make it easy for residents to record incidents as they occur and send the leaflets back to the parish council at the end of January."

The detailed information will help the police to take action or, at the very least, assess the sheer weight of the problem and demonstrate to Somerset Highways and the other major agencies the need to take more action than there has been to date.

The leaflet is also available to pick up in the Cheddar Library and can be downloaded from www.cheddarparishcouncil.org