‘Wild West’: ‘Boy racers’ descend on Alexandra Palace roads as police promise crackdown

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:56 29 May 2020

Cars parked on the pavement near Alexandra Park. Picture: Railway Cottages Residents Association

Cars parked on the pavement near Alexandra Park. Picture: Railway Cottages Residents Association

Railway Cottages Residents Association

Police are taking “extremely seriously” the “Wild West” scene of “boy racers” around Alexandra Palace which has condemned some drivers’ actions as “selfish beyond words”.

Revving engines, aggressive driving, pavement parking, quadbike racing and overcrowding have been reported in Palace Gates Road, Station Road, Priory Road and streets in the vicinity of the palace in recent weeks.

Ally Pally, which reopened some of its car parks on May 22 to combat rogue parking, says it is “frustrated” by the “lack of respect” shown by some drivers.

Frank Hanly, Railway Cottages Residents Association chair, said the situation had become a “slightly Wild West scenario” where “long-running, festering” issues of road safety “seem to be getting worse”, with residents worried over noise pollution and a potential accident.

Frank said the palace racers, who “are showing off in a way”, sometimes carry on until midnight.

Groups of drivers revving their engines have become commonplace around the palace. Picture: Railway Cottages Residents AssociationGroups of drivers revving their engines have become commonplace around the palace. Picture: Railway Cottages Residents Association

He told the Ham&High: “It’s like a rally, they all come together, they come in convoys and they make arrangements to meet all their mates up there.

“Because the level of traffic has dropped, the ambient noise of the boy racers cuts through.

“It’s almost like they’ve taken advantage of lockdown around the streets.”

Inspector Imran Asghar, Neighbourhood Policing Haringey, said: “I understand the impact that this situation is having on the lives of local residents.

“I want to reassure them that we are taking this extremely seriously and we are proactively working to tackle this issue.

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“We have been carrying out proactive car stopping operations around Alexandra Palace which has had positive results.”

This newspaper understands “positive results” in this scenario means “engaging with the public, advising drivers, and an arrest”.

The police say enforcement will be “stepped up” over the coming weeks and that officers will change their shift patterns so more evening patrols can be carried out.

Inspector Asghar urged drivers involved in “dangerous activity” to think of the “potentially tragic consequences”.

Louise Stewart, Alexandra Palace CEO, said the “respite” its park was bringing to local residents in lockdown was being tarnished.

“At a time when so many in the community are pulling together to help each other, their behaviour is selfish beyond words,” she said.

“Whilst the issues reported aren’t confined to Alexandra Palace Park we have reopened some of our car parks to help combat illegal parking – something that costs us money to do, at a time when we’ve little to no income.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of the police in managing these issues and will continue to work closely with them and Haringey Council to resolve the related antisocial behaviour that is understandably concerning local residents.”

Cllr Seema Chandwani, Haringey Council cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “We are aware of the reports involving parking and speeding at Alexandra Palace.

“Although Alexandra Palace and its roads are managed by the Trust, the council is liaising with Alexandra Palace and the police to provide support, as required.

“Following concerns raised by residents, council enforcement officers have been assigned to monitor the roads at the entrance to and around the palace and are also enforcing prohibited parking.”

People can call the police on 101 for non-emergency issues over road safety.

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