Nuisance drivers participating in ‘noisy’ car meets could now be fined up to £1,000. 

Wokingham Borough Council have passed a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), which aims to reduce the “misery” residents have felt from the “anti-social behaviour vehicle use” in car parks and other public spaces. 

The PSPO gives officers new powers to hand out fixed penalty notices (PCN’s) of up to £100, or a summary offence fine of up to £1,000, to those who fail to comply with the conditions. 

Signage totalling £2,000 will be implemented in the areas so the order can be legally enforced.  

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Executive member for environment, sport and leisure, Cllr Ian Shenton, said the implementation is “necessary” due to the “volume of complaints” from residents. 

“Typically, it features engine revving, wheel spinning, aggressive driving, noise from horns, backfiring and loud music. A lot of it occurs quite late into the night,” Cllr Shenton explained. 

It was deemed that the “number and regularity” of the incidents has had a “detrimental effect on the quality of life” for residents in the vicinity so meets the statutory test for a PSPO. 

Between January 2021 and January 2022, 82 incidents were reported to the council, predominantly in the Carnival Hub car park, the Mereoak Park & Ride near Three Mile Cross, and supermarket car parks across the borough. 

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The council set up a new crime prevention team in April, designed to “offer a visible presence” and crack down on anti-social behaviour, but the representative for Bulmershe and Whitegates wards, Cllr Shirley Boyt, said incidents were still happening with “alarming regularity”. 

Wokingham and Bracknell boroughs have both been plagued with incidents of car meets in recent times, sparking interventions from residents, the council and local MPs.  

In January, angry residents protested the regular occurrences at The Carnival Pool car park on Wellington Road, with Councillor Maria Gee claiming children had been hiding under their beds because the noise sounded like gunshots.    

Wokingham Borough Council said cases had reduced following the installation of CCTV.  

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Incidents at the Sainsbury’s on Bagshot Road in Bracknell prompted an intervention in parliament by the borough’s MP James Sunderland.  

Mr Sunderland urged the supermarket to shut its parking area while the store is closed, after residents complained of up to 100 cars showing up regularly for “dangerous” and “noisy” car meets. 

A public consultation by Wokingham Borough Council on the proposed PSPO, carried out between June and July of this year, revealed that 75 per cent of respondents were in favour of implementing it. 

The order was approved unanimously by the council at the meeting of the executive on Thursday September 29.