Racers back on bypass
May 19, 2006

Groups of boy racers have returned to the Burntwood bypass, with up to 50 cars gathering near Chasewater.

Police have received several reports about drivers meeting and have now promised to put extra resources and a mobile speed camera into the area.

Burntwood Town Council leader Councillor Paul Atkins, saw around 50 cars while on his way back from a function after midnight last week.

He said taxi drivers told him the gatherings were a regular occurrence and called on Staffordshire County Council to install speed cameras to catch illegal drivers.

"We seem to be getting boy racers back up on the bypass," said Councillor Atkins.

"Burntwood Town Council sent a letter to the police and we are all campaigning to get some cameras.

"The last thing we want is that happening and everybody meeting there.

"I would like to see Staffordshire County Council assess it again and if possible get some cameras. It's a 50mph limit but there's no way people stick to it."

Chief Inspector Mike Kozam said he would be devoting extra resources to the bypass.

It is just over a year since a police crackdown on drivers who started to use the 6 million road as a race track last April.

Inspector Kozam said he had a call from a member of the public on Sunday evening (May 14) saying large groups had gathered on Station Approach near Chasewater Heaths railway station.

He sent a patrol up there but the officers did not see any racing taking place. In light of the reports that we have received we will be adding extra attention to that area," the police chief said.

"If there's any careless and dangerous driving then the drivers will be dealt with and face those offences. I'm getting the CCTV mobile up there, so we will be monitoring it. We want to ensure there's no danger presented to members of the public."

Staffordshire County Council spokesman Jeremy Herbert, said it was unlikely any permanent cameras would be put on the bypass because its accident record was not as bad as other areas.

He said: "We will have a look at the statistics, but I don't think it has a very high accident record."

He added the council had lots of requests to put up new speed cameras but had to adhere to strict Government guidelines. "We can't just dole them out where we would like to," said Mr Herbert.