Last month, I held a virtual public meeting regarding speeding and anti-social behaviour on our roads. This is a problem which stretches from Cudworth all the way along the Dearne Valley Parkway, with the Cortonwood retail park and BP garage at Birdwell acting as particular hotspots for boy racer meet ups.
It was clear from the points raised during the meeting that this problem is not only worse during the summer months, it is also worse at weekends and at night, and this has had a significant impact on the sleep, mental health and wellbeing of people in our community. There are also long standing problems with reporting incidents through 101, and this has an impact on residents’ ability to engage with the Police and update them on issues as they are happening.
Following the meeting, I wrote to Barnsley Council, South Yorkshire Police and the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to outline what was discussed at the meeting, to put forward the possible solutions, and to ask for some indication of the next steps we can take towards implementing some of these measures.
Since the meeting, the following actions have been taken:
- South Yorkshire Police and the PCC are setting up a South Yorkshire-wide group focused solely on tackling crime and anti-social behaviour on our roads. This group will work with the local authority and will look at Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) and other measures which may be feasible as a method of tackling these problems
- South Yorkshire Police are attempting to contact the landowner of the site at Birdwell to try to get their support to restrict access to the site
- South Yorkshire Police are carrying out regular stop/checks of vehicles
- Savills, which manages the part of the retail park where B&Q is located, has repaired the barrier behind B&Q and has guaranteed that this will be locked at 6pm each evening
- Barnsley Council are working with South Yorkshire Police to share intelligence and look at opportunities to disrupt the anti-social behaviour on the bypass
- This includes reporting vehicle modifications to the Fraud Insurance Bureau where applicable
- Barnsley Council are liaising with South Yorkshire Police and other South Yorkshire local authorities to look at different legal options
I will continue to push for further actions to address this issue, and I will make sure I keep residents updated on any progress. In the meantime, I would urge residents to continue to report incidents using 101, so that the Police are aware of the ongoing problems on our roads.