Scarborough Council vote to extend ban on car cruising events for another three years

Scarborough Council has granted a three-year extension to a ban on car cruising events being held in the town.
A previous car cruise event on Marine Drive in Scarborough.A previous car cruise event on Marine Drive in Scarborough.
A previous car cruise event on Marine Drive in Scarborough.

The authority renewed the Public Space Protection Order yesterday, which was brought in after a number of incidents at unlicensed car gatherings centred around Scarborough's seafront.

Car cruising is where enthusiasts meet up in large numbers and travel to a set location to show off their vehicles.

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One of the largest events to come to Scarborough saw 500 cars descend on Marine Drive and Royal Albert Drive in the town's North Bay.

Car cruises to Scarborough seafront had been a common sight in the town for many years but relations between the clubs and North Yorkshire Police and Scarborough Council soured in 2017 after £50,000 worth of damage was caused to Royal Albert Drive following an event.

The then newly resurfaced road was left shredded with melted rubber stuck to the tarmac near the Oasis Cafe after a driver “burnt out” their tyres, the driver was later prosecuted.

The following year the PSPO was brought in and cruises have since been banned.

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The three year extension had been backed by North Yorkshire County Council, North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner.

Speaking at yesterday's meeting at of the Full Council at Scarborough Spa, Cllr Carl Maw, the cabinet member for Stronger Communities and Housing said the council could be liable for any injuries or damage caused.

He said: "This is not about spoiling anybody's fun, the problem with these events is that they don't have the right permissions in place, the right liability insurance in place.

"Car cruises are not organised events.

"It would be good to have a regulated event with the proper permissions in place because [without the PSPO] if something goes wrong Scarborough Council will be the first one to get the blame."

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Cllr Maw said the PSPO did not stop licensed events, such as the annual Goldwings motorcycle parade from taking place.

Cllr Bill Chatt said the £50,000 damage was "unforgivable" but it had been one person spoiling it for the rest and that the councillors could be seen as "fuddy-duddies".

He said: "Young people want to be out there and do something with their mates and show off their flash cars.

"There has been no real issues, let's give them a chance, John Lennon said it. If we give them a chance and it goes wrong then we can bring it back and do something. But I think if we are continually saying to the young people in the borough 'it's not for us' then we are what they say we are on Facebook."

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Conservative leader Cllr Derek Bastiman said he supported the PSPO.

He told the councillors: "As the leader when the PSPO came in I supported it then and I will be supporting it today because, Cllr Chatt, I would sooner be referred to as a fuddy-duddy who wanted safety rather than as a member of Scarborough Council being represented as someone who did not act leading to many fatal accidents."

The PSPO renewal was approved.The PSPO makes it an offence for a person to take part in, attend or even promote a car cruise, without a reasonable excuse.

Fixed Penalty Notices of £100 can be issued with fines of up to £1,000 also available to anyone breaking the order.

It means any driver in a group of two or more who is posing a risk to other road users, playing loud music or is deemed to be taking part in anti-social behaviour could fall foul of the legislation.