YOBS have been accused of turning a Laindon industrial estate into their own private racetrack.
Businesses have called for urgent action to tackle reckless drivers who are congregating at Southfields Industrial Estate late at night and weekends, causing a nuisance by tearing down its network of roads at breakneck speeds John Dornan, Conservative councillor for Laindon Park, said Essex County Council’s local highways panel is not acting fast enough to find a longterm solution.
He claims the problem has been ongoing for more than two years.
Mr Dornan, who is also Basildon Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “We need to get something done as soon as possible. This has been going on far too long.
“I’ve had so many complaints from residents who are kept up by the noise, and the damage they are doing to the area is just unacceptable.”
The site, known to cruisers as the “Laindon strip”, was locked down by police in an operation last year to try and drive away racers.
As many as 200 drivers were gathering at weekends, prompting officers to boost patrols and set up checkpoints at the three entry points to the estate.
However, the problem remains.
Peter Banks, chairman of the Hornsby Square Consortium of business owners, said traders had already taken it into their own hands to get speed bumps installed in Hornsby Square, but said more are needed in Hornsby Way and Bramston Way.
Mr Banks said: “I must get about four or five phone calls a week about this from business owners who have been threatened by some of the racers.
“It is really frustrating that nothing is being done.
“We are going to have a death one day, or a very serious accident, if we don’t do something to control this. Not to mention they are tearing up all the nice green spaces we have round here.
“I used to go down everyweekend and monitor the drag racing, but I just got tired of wasting my time.”
The Basildon Local Highways Panel is considering a £40,000 scheme to install speed tables – longer speed bumps – in Hornsby Way, but it has yet to come to fruition.
County councillor Keith Bobbin, chairman of the highways panel, said the group has a limited budget and priority must be given to projects to improve safety.
Mr Bobbin said: “Unfortunately it is difficult because everyone wants to put in a zebra crossing here or something somewhere else and we only have so much money to go around. We have to prioritise according to how they will affect public safety.”
An Essex County Council spokesman said they expected speed bumps to be put along Hornsby Way in the autumn.