A move to ban huge car cruising events in Milton Keynes has been started by the council.
Residents of Central Milton Keynes have seen their lives blighted by car cruises involving up to 1,000 cars at a time, that have been centred on the South Second Street car park.
“I am happy to take this decision,” said cabinet councillor Martin Gowans, at a delegated decisions meeting of Milton Keynes Council on Tuesday. He decided to go-ahead with a 12-week public consultation exercise in the absence of portfolio holder Cllr Hannah O’Neil who had given birth just five days earlier.
PC Andy Hipkin, of the city centre and Campbell Park neighbourhood policing team, said the move was fully supported by Thames Valley Police. If it gets the go-ahead it could lead to so called car cruisers being handed penalty notices of up to £100 each, or even £1,000 if they are prosecuted.
“It is all about protection for the public,” PC Hipkin said. “I am pushing it forward as much as I can and Thames Valley Police are 100 per cent behind it.” Car cruises are organised on social media at the drop of a hat and lead to hundreds of people showing off their cars.
Ward councillor Paul Williams said: “I support this going to public consultation. I guess we will find out what the public wants.”
The results of the consultation exercise on the implementation of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) will be reported to a meeting of the council’s ruling cabinet.
The meeting also heard that action is being taken to stop rogue drivers using the South Second Street car park by installing “hard infrastructure” to stop it being used.
The meeting heard that the car park is owned by MKDP, a company that the council itself owns but allows it to run its own affairs. But the response has been less than dynamic.
Cllr Rob Middleton, the council’s portfolio holder for resources and innovation, said he had been in discussion with MKDP to take forward the issue of car park ‘hard infrastructure.’
And Cllr John Bint, who also sits on the MKDP board, said: “This is the first time I have heard that MKDP is not responding well to this problem.” He offered to take up the issue, too.