“We’re not trying to spoil your fun,” says council as it confirms anti-social car cruising ban across Milton Keynes
Police are being given the power to fine people for the anti-social use of vehicles anywhere in the borough of Milton Keynes.
A top councillor decided on Tuesday to go ahead with implementing a borough-wide public space protection order (PSPO) after years of complaints from residents about massive car cruising events in the city.
Cllr Hannah O’Neill (Lab, Woughton and Fishermead) said it would take a while before on the spot fines of up to £1,000 would be handed out by police. She said they had to sort out “signs and legal stuff” before officers could act.
And she said the council is not looking to ban car cruising altogether, just anti-social behaviour, which includes excessive noise, racing, tyre-smoking burn outs, drifting (sliding the rear of the vehicle) and donuts (circular skidding).
Cllr O’Neill is the council’s elected head of health and wellbeing and she has consulted with the police, who supported the move.
Sarah Gonsalves, the council’s director of policy, insight and communications, said: “It is not about spoiling people’s fun, it’s about people behaving responsibly and carefully.
“It’s about us sending a message that we are not going to tolerate it. We have had enough. I think that message has started to filter through.”
The delegated decisions meeting was told that council officers had tried to engage with organisers of the events, which have attracted hundreds of cars to the city centre.But the meeting heard that they had not “taken responsibility” for health and safety issues. Background papers said a five year old had been “hit by a driver participating in a car cruise and taken to hospital.”
Although a public consultation last year attracted an overall majority of support for car cruising, and NOT to ban them, there were no opponents of the move at the meeting.
A borough councillor, Cllr Paul Williams (Lab, Central MK), a town councillor, Gill Kirkup (East CMK) and a local resident turned up to support the decision. It is now subject to a call-in period where it can be challenged by 20 residents.
The decision is due to be published on the council’s website on Friday, which starts the time-limited call-in period.