The local beat team were out on patrol in Cheddar Gorge over the weekend to tackle antisocial driving and the problems it causes.
On Sunday 16 August, officers were monitoring a car meet to protect public safety.
In the evening the number of vehicles at the Gorge peaked at about 300-400 and a decision was taken to shut the road due to acts of dangerous driving. Motorists were seen performing doughnuts and drifting, as pedestrians and cyclists tried to use the route.
The action we took taken included:
- Cheddar Gorge was shut to traffic at about 8.45pm and drivers were ordered to leave. The area was vacated within approximately 30 minutes.
- Approximately 80-100 vehicles were later reported to have arrived at Sainsbury’s car park in Worle. We received reports of loud music being played. Officers helped bring the incident to a close.
- Eight vehicles were stopped
- One drug search was conducted
- Two drivers were handed fixed penalty notices for breach of vehicle regulations
- One driver was caught without valid insurance
- Two motorists were directed to leave due to antisocial behaviour
- Police also supported the ambulance service with two unrelated medical incidents.
Inspector Andy Pritchard said: “Extra resources were deployed to the Gorge over the weekend because of concerns regarding a planned car meet on Sunday.
“We will not tolerate the dangerous driving that people were subjected to in Cheddar or Weston and we will not allow public roads to be treated as a race track.
“Our priority was, first and foremost, to ensure the public’s safety and therefore the Gorge was closed as a last resort. We apologise for anyone inconvenienced, but hope they can appreciate why it was necessary on this occasion.
“Officers on the scene were equipped with body worn cameras and we will be reviewing that footage, identifying those drivers and taking action against those responsible for putting innocent people in jeopardy.
“Quite simply, car meets in the Gorge are not safe and we will be deploying officers in the area again this weekend.”
Avon and Somerset Police continues to work with our key partners to provide a long-term solution to make the road through the Gorge as safe as possible.
If you witness antisocial driving in the Gorge, please report it on 101. Footage can also be uploaded to our website to help us identify those responsible.