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Police insist speeding is being tackled

PUBLISHED: 23:34 19 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:21 03 March 2010

TRAFFIC cops today told residents they are not ignoring the menace of boy-racers outside their seafront homes - and have pledged to keep up their action to target the problem.

TRAFFIC cops today told residents they are not ignoring the menace of boy-racers outside their seafront homes – and have pledged to keep up their action to target the problem.

Police say they have issued 16 fixed penalty tickets for speeding on Felixstowe's seafront in the past six months and cautioned 77 other drivers.

They say the culprits were all local people, and were not all teenagers in souped-up cars with some drivers who should know better also acting irresponsibly.

Residents of Sea Road have voiced growing concern about young drivers speeding up and down the long, straight street, and performing stunts and handbrake turns – sometimes amid the crowds on Sunday afternoons.

It is claimed work to narrow parts of the road with parking bays has done little to cut the speeding, and there have been calls for a no-go zone for cars to make the area safer.

Sgt John Tubbs, of the Suffolk police traffic unit, told Felixstowe Police Forum that action was being taken to curb the problems of speeding and officers were making regular visits to the resort.

"The vast majority of people who speed in Felixstowe come from Felixstowe – they are not imports coming from Ipswich or elsewhere to use the seafront as a racetrack. It's people who live here," said Sgt Tubbs.

"There are youngsters among these drivers who disregard the safety of other road users and pedestrians and we look at every possible way to educate those people.

"But these speeding drivers are not all young, not all 17 and 18-yeards-old. There are some in their middle 20s who think it is a bit of a giggle to fly down Sea Road as fast as they can."

Unmarked vehicles fitted with cameras had been used in Sea Road, Langer Road and Garrison Lane to catch speeders, and those going around the "circuit" which some boy-racers use, a route encompassing the seafront and part of the A14 around the town.

Those stopped had their cars given a thorough going over by police officers and experts from the vehicle inspectorate to check their fuel, tyres, engines, and safety.

"This gives us the opportunity to educate these people to use their vehicles safely and hopefully the vast majority will take notice. Some of them don't, as we all know, but we don't give up and we keep on and hopefully one day they will see the light," he added.

Residents have met highways officials and police to suggest Sea Road between Manwick and Beach Station Roads – possibly as far as Tacon and Orford Roads – should be pedestrianised, especially at weekends.

Barriers could be used to create a car-free zone to make it safer and more attractive for visitors to the Sunday market, funfair, arcades and food kiosks between 12 noon and 6pm.

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