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Crackdown on Noisy Drivers and Bikers Ruining Peace of Surrey’s Quiet Beauty Spots

Published on: 10 Sep, 2020
Updated on: 12 Sep, 2020

Newlands Corner a beauty spot disturbed by anti-social driving.

By Julie Armstrong

local democracy reporter

Newlands Corner and Box Hill are now hotbeds of anti-social driving, police say, with residents angered by noisy cars and motorbikes destroying the tranquillity of Surrey beauty spots.

The easing of lockdown restrictions has made the problem worse, causing speeding to increase, they say. Police patrols with new noise-level detectors are monitoring the A24 area to crack down on speeders and deafening exhausts tormenting Mole Valley residents.

Grace Sheppard, who works at Ryka’s Café, said Mickleham residents complain bikers accelerate through the village to avoid the speed cameras installed on the A24 two years ago.

County councillor Hazel Watson (Lib Dem, Dorking Hills), said: “There is a significant problem of cars and motorbikes with excessively noisy exhausts causing concern to many local residents.

“This is affecting a large part of the district. I’ve heard from Abinger Hammer, Wotton, Westcott and Dorking, and other councillors around my area have told me they’ve had similar complaints.”

Last month, officers seized four vehicles in an anti-social driving operation around Box Hill. More than 300 vehicles were stop-checked and 96 traffic offence reports, fixed penalty notices and prohibition orders were issued, along with 22 warnings.

Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro at Mickleham.

David Munro, the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner whose office funded the new noise detectors, said: “Unfortunately, a minority of people has been causing misery for local residents with their driving which cannot be tolerated and this action has helped deter and disrupt that behaviour.”

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “We hope residents start to see a reduction in the anti-social and dangerous driving they’ve been experiencing and reporting.”

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Responses to Crackdown on Noisy Drivers and Bikers Ruining Peace of Surrey’s Quiet Beauty Spots

  1. Ian Latimer Reply

    September 10, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    This problem has been going on for years with unlawful, extra noisy exhausts being fitted to motorbikes and then taken off for MOTs. The bikers ride them dangerously through the countryside causing chaos and ruining the peaceful areas of both Surrey and Sussex including the areas around Bury Hill and Petworth. They can be heard from miles away.

    The police know about these problems. The bikers involved are breaking the law and I have written to various authorities in the past but nothing has been done.

    Why should motorcyclists, a small minority of the population, spoil it for thousands of people in Surrey and Sussex? It is about time this is stopped.

  2. Roy Carman Reply

    September 10, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    Not only is it motorcycles it is also cars.

    I live, at the bottom of Ranmore, the Dorking end. Many cars leave Ashcombe Road to ascend the hill up to Ranmore; their roar can be heard all the way as they ascend. It is not on. And by the way, most are cars the average person cannot afford.

  3. Mike Quennell Reply

    September 11, 2020 at 8:40 am

    Up here on Box Hill, we are blighted by motorcyclists and scooter riders with “modified” exhausts. Weekends are a constant roar of bikes and scooters all day, but at night, between 1am and 5am it is deafening. There is one scooter, in particular, with the loudest exhaust I have heard which wakes everybody up who lives on Box Hill Road.

    I think they probably congregate around the National Trust area and there are signs of drug-taking and drinking at night in the mornings following.

    I wonder how long before locals take matters into there own hands if it continues?

  4. Virginia Russell Reply

    September 11, 2020 at 10:13 am

    This is happening on the A246 also. Constant speeding by motorcycles with exhausts modified. Also cars race on the A246 and both motorcycles and cars speed at well over 50mph on Green Dene which is a 30mph limit.

    Living on this road that has no pavements is a death trap for pedestrians. I have been almost knocked down many times and witnessed several crashes. The culprits should have their licences revoked for good. They have absolutely no regard for safety and other road users.

  5. Keith Lewis Reply

    September 11, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    I heartily concur with Ian Latimer’s comment. During lockdown it was illegal to make all but essential journeys, eg shopping, commuting to work, walking or riding a bicycle for exercise. But the bikers were out in full force and seemed to take delight in using maximum revs to create the maximum possible noise. Were they riding their bikes for essential purposes?

    Where I live, near the Effingham traffic lights, the noise of two or three bikes accelerating away is very intense, yet the police don’t seem to want to know.

  6. Jim Allen Reply

    September 11, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Why just complain about the noise problem in the countryside?

    Sitting here next to the A3 we have secondary glazing which prevents normal vehicle road noise getting through into the house. But outside, we can hear Harley Davidsons (recognizable anywhere in the world) and sports bikes at full throttle in both directions, the “how fast can we reach 70mph+ brigade” going north off the slip road and then there is what I can only guess to be the “tunnel turnaround team”. I think they go flat out from the M25 and beyond to the Hindhead tunnel and then return 15 to 20 minutes later.

    Simply placing noise activated cameras on Clay Lane Bridge over the A3 would, most evenings and weekends, catch these “Gentlemen of Noise” by the dozen.

  7. Martin Elliott Reply

    September 11, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    So there are a lot of comments confirming that some people have an issue with the exhaust noise level (and tone) of exhausts, presumed to be illegal. (All exhaust systems on road must meet standards with welded on certification plates.)

    But not one comment on the results of a specialised Surrey Police campaign, especially by locals. Did anybody even notice it taking place?

    More importantly, can’t we get something a bit more positive from Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, rather than just a hope residents will see a reduction in such anti-social behaviour?

  8. Valerie Thompson Reply

    September 14, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    It’s not only noisy bikes and motorists who annoy residents but cyclists, riding through villages from early in the morning, shouting extremely loudly to each other. I can hear them inside my house, some 50 feet from the road.

  9. Michael Ashworth Reply

    September 18, 2020 at 8:30 am

    It’s become routine at Newlands Corner for the road on dry evenings and weekends to be overrun by sports cars being driven, noisily, way over the 40 mph limit and, of course as pointed out above, many motorbikes making excessive noise too. Yes please – let’s have a police crackdown with a police presence, speed cameras, decibel meters and much better signage. These people are a blight on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    Having reached Newlands Corner many of the quieter, slower cars deliver hoards of people who just “love” the AONB and then tip their rubbish onto it. That’s in addition to the dog walkers who leave strange fruit hanging from many trees in the woods. Why can’t these people (who I do thank for being quiet) take their rubbish and dog mess home?

    At Newlands Corner, to quote Joni Mitchell, they’ve paved paradise and put up a parking lot. What a sad, filthy, world we are making.

    The tarmac parking area at Newlands Corner is also used in the later evening by another type of car driver to practice Tokyo Drift with all of the associated engine noise and tyre screaming.

    An endless stream of self-centred and selfish people seem focused on destroying Newlands Corner and all the family occupied areas nearby.

  10. R Dean Reply

    December 20, 2020 at 12:01 am

    Rude cyclists riding 2-3-abreast are far worse, I think, than the motor cyclists.

    If, when driving my car, I move over, they normally thank me or when walking my dog near Box Hill and meet off-road bikes they most often stop and turn their engines off as I go past. I find them more polite then cyclists in general.

    Some cyclists are like a swarm of angry bees causing hold ups for traffic and not keeping to single file.

    They are the slowest thing on the road and should look behind them, overtake and move back to single file again to allow other faster traffic to pass.

    In no other vehicle are you permitted to ride or drive side-by-side and have a chat, you have to be in full control of your vehicle. They won’t allow that on a motor bike or car training and

    Most cyclists don’t have mirrors to see what is going on behind them and some have headphones on limiting their hearing. Some even fail to stop at red lights or zebra crossings.

    You can normally tell a cyclist who has a car or motor bike licence as they have more road sense, having had training.

    Some cyclists need to learn that the road is for all, not just them.

    At least with a motor vehicle you hear them coming along. What are poor sighted people going to do if we have electric vehicles and no noise?

  11. Simon Schultz Reply

    December 21, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    It appears that this is the thread for hate speech. I query once again with The Dragon editors what public benefit arises from publishing the bigoted (and incorrect) views of R Dean, above. Leave him/her to rant on Parler or Facebook.

    Editor’s comment: We do not consider R Dean’s comment to be hate speech. He or she is entitled to his or her view, as is everyone else, however much we do, or don’t, agree with it.

  12. Simon Schultz Reply

    December 21, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    I consider it to be hate speech, and speech which has contributed to the death of several people I know, including recently a neighbour who was killed by a car driver while cycling on Surrey roads.

    I will I longer be interacting with The Dragon. Over and out.

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