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Boy racers blighting popular beauty spot

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 28, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

Swainsley Tunnel on the Manifold track where driver are stopping to rev up their engines, which is causing major noise pollution.

Swainsley Tunnel on the Manifold track where driver are stopping to rev up their engines, which is causing major noise pollution.

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YOUNG anti-social drivers are again blighting a Staffordshire Moorlands beauty spot.

Police say concerns have been raised after complaints of quad bikes and cars being driven along the pedestrian walk areas of the Manifold Track.

Vehicles are also stopping in the adjacent Swainsley Tunnel, which is part of the Manifold track and does have vehicle access, revving their vehicles.

This is causing a noise nuisance for residents and visitors in the area.

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Almost three years ago Swainsley Tunnel, which is situated near Butterton and Wetton Mill, was at the centre of controversy when car drivers and motorcyclists congregated at the location and then posted scenes on YouTube of vehicles travelling through the tunnel at high speeds as late as 2am.

The speed and the acoustics from the tunnel is believed to have attracted young drivers to the Moorlands from a wide area.

Police erected signs and monitored the area and the situation improved.

However, now police officers state that the recent activities are a continuation of the original problem.

Rural PC Paul Bolam said: "We have received numerous complaints over anti-social drivers causing problems in the Swainsley Tunnel and Manifold Track area. Now each weekend we are going to have officers in high visibility monitoring the area.

"We want to reassure residents in the area we are aware of the situation and that we are doing something regarding the problem.

"Two young drivers have already been issued with a Section 59 notices for driving their vehicles in an inconsiderate way. One was caught in the tunnel revving up an engine and one was on the Manifold track.

"If they are caught again their vehicles will be taken away from them.

"We are also looking to prosecute repeating offenders.

"We would also like to ask all landowners to make sure their gates along the Manifold track are closed and made secure."

Police officers are also working with peak park rangers to alleviate the problem.

To get to the location drivers must have to go through either Butterton, Warslow or Wetton or gain access from the Hulme End to Alstonefield road.

Police officers have now asked residents of the villages concerned to ring the Staffordshire Police 101 number immediately if they see a large amount of car enthusiasts travelling through their villages along with the registration number of any vehicle seen being driven through the tunnel or Manifold track, which is causing anti-social behaviour.

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