Croydon Council officials have performed a sharp U-turn and decided to go to the High Court later this week in efforts “to ban illegal high-speed road races at Imperial Way”.
The move to the law, for an injunction against those taking part in the weekly “Croydon Cruise”, was announced by the council on its Twitter feed.
The High Court hearing will be on Friday, September 30.
As the brief video clip above shows, the Imperial Way drag strip has been a Friday night feature on the roads off the Purley Way for several years (the video was recorded in 2013), but the urgency over the public safety issue has increased in recent months after a couple of serious accidents, including one fatality in July.
Road works are due to begin tomorrow, agreed between council officials, Croydon police and Waddon ward councillors, with speed bumps and other traffic calming measures intended to deter the boy racers in their cars and motor bikes.
Any injunction will require enforcement action, so the High Court move represents a change of position by the local authority and police stance on the matter over what was agreed just a matter of weeks ago.Until now, the police has been struggling to be able to deploy enough officers to disperse the Cruise, and the demands on policing the weekly gatherings were understood to be causing pressure on budgets.
The local Tory MP, Chris Philp, has been entirely silent on this important road safety issue in his constituency, issuing no press releases about having “talks with the minister”, and raising no petitions, but preferring instead to make appearances at photo-calls in Coulsdon and the deep south of Croydon South.
There is growing suspicion that Philp, who was parachuted into the safe seat a couple of years ago, is not even aware that this part of the Croydon Airport industrial estate is in his constituency.
Meanwhile, Andrew Pelling, one of the Labour councillors for the ward, told Inside Croydon, “With work about to start on speed humps and with the injunction hearing on Friday, this is an important week for Imperial Way, with the council taking determined action on a Cruise that has become dreadfully dangerous.”
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It shouldn’t be too difficult to clandestinely film those breaking the law by the manner of their driving and then prosecute them at leisure.
It is a shame the police can’t be dragged away from their computers policing twitter etc. and do some real work. Sadly the comfy chairs are more appealing than going out in the cold and dark dealing with dangerous speeding drivers.