Appendix A Santa Pod Report January 2022

Document Date

17/01/2022

Created by

N/A

Category

Meetings

Accessible version of document​

“Project Pod”

 

This is a brief note prepared for BPC to kickstart thinking on how to deal with Santa Pod traffic. Do we have to “put up with it” and if not, what are the options?

 

There are three key issues

  1. Noise
  2. Safety
  3. Driver behaviour

Clearly these are all interlinked.

 

Noise

The type of cars driven to SP are generally either modified or performance. They are also frequently driven/revved in a fashion designed to show off and/or disturb people. Without conducting a scientific census, it seems that the noise of arrivals now starts as early as Friday morning and 06.50 on Saturday 23rd September. It also seems that the load has increased over the last few years and noticeably so since lockdown ended. Perhaps SP are trying to make up for lost time. I personally don’t have an issue with the drag racing noise from SP, but from the attendees. I would also guess that for each driver it doesn’t seem to be an issue, but for the village it’s a stream of traffic for most of the weekend for most of the period April to October. I find it hard to believe that some of the exhausts (which are designed to backfire/be loud as far as I can make out) are legal. Noise and speed are something that should be addressed by the police on these weekends. The current legal noise limit for cars meeting type approval is 74 decibels, and it is it is illegal to modify a car’s exhaust system to make it noisier than the level at which it passed type approval with – It would be interesting to see if this could be enforced.

 

Safety

This also relates to noise, but we clearly have an issue with safety though the village. This is caused by excessive speed (whether or not above the 30 mile limit) and disregard for other road users. Speeding via the lane from the old school past the playing fields is also an issue. There is a blind corner which if taken at any speed leads to cars drifting around it. On the day of the village fete, when cars were parked on the Harrold Road, there were frequent examples of cars driving down the narrow single lane at speed, with plenty of pedestrians on the pavement including children. It would only take one slip to cause a tragedy. Bozeat is a village of narrow roads and parked cars, schools, children and people trying to live their lives. Should be put at risk for someone else’s profit and enjoyment?

 

Driver behaviour

Basically these cars are driven by young men showing off, noting we were all young once. They have no interest in the village and or safety etc because they’ve come from miles away. It can’t be a coincidence that the hedges for miles around are full of litter after SP weekends.

I get the impression that the village has become resigned to the issue, especially after years of it. As far as I know the village obtains no economic benefit in jobs or otherwise from SP. Even if it did, it wouldn’t excuse the issues above. One could argue that those who have moved here recently have “come to the nuisance” as the saying goes, similar to moving next to a church or cricket field. As we discussed briefly at the meeting on Monday 10th January SP seems to have been going for 50 years plus, but was the problem the same then?

 

So…

  1. We don’t have to put up with this
  2. Surely there are other villages feeling the same. We need to be careful that we aren’t traded off or just push the issue onto somewhere else
  3. I’ve heard a few people say “they aren’t meant to come through here”. Is this a formal thing or just the directions given by SP?
  4. What do we want to achieve (no traffic at all? No noise? Time limits?)
  5. How do we want to achieve it? Police? SP? The law?
  6. How could one tell SP traffic versus normal traffic?
  7. Would the proposals currently being considered for signs etc be enough? Chicane? But would this just lead to a build up of boy racers revving their engines?
  8. In reality, I think we have to find a way of bringing this home to SP. How, to be discussed
  9. The problem of these drivers using Harrold Road and Allens Hill as a drag strip should again be addressed by the police on the day, and not by putting a speed camera van at the bottom of Allens Hill on a Monday, (which has happened on 4 occasions now).
  10. When the “travellers” had their horse fair last year and this year, there were police everywhere around the Summerleys area, including motorcycle police.
  11. We need and we should demand the same level of policing on days when SP is running “owners club” meetings and SP needs to publish when they will be held, and this should be aligned with an appropriate police presence. These drivers will soon work out which routes should be avoided if they start getting fined for this behaviour.

 

Finally with the playing field and the equestrian centre being on the Harrold Road drag strip, how long will it be before either a child, adult or horse is injured or killed by these irresponsible and reckless drivers?