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Chelsea residents fear the return of supercars and boy racers this summer

Wealthy residents of Chelsea and Sloane Square fear a return of pesky racers racing around in noisy supercars.

With the lockdown lifted and international travel started, locals fear their brief respite from deafening Lambos and Bugattis may be coming to an end.

The Kensington and Chelsea Council has attempted to counter the threat with “acoustic cameras,” which are activated by roaring motors through video surveillance and can help to impose fines.

The problem came to a head in August 2019 when an Audi Q7 driver completed his vehicle by turning into a row of parked cars on Moore Street, copying a McLaren, Porsche and Bentley.

Natalie Acres, a retired headmistress who lives in Chelsea, said, “It’s the kind of noise that upsets you in the middle of the night.

“It was definitely quieter last year, but I’m very concerned that it will come back up now as the lockdown is easing.

“I have a feeling that a lot of the people involved in it came from abroad and come in the summer, mostly from Middle Eastern countries, but I don’t know for sure.”

Michael Stephen, business law attorney and vice chairman of the Chelsea Society, said, “While the supercars are the most visible, the main problem is with the noise from motorcycles. They make noise all day every day and make a noise that is much worse. “

Mr Stephen, who has lived in the area since 1975, continued, “The problem has lessened because many of the young people who drive these supercars are overseas and the Covid restrictions have reduced their numbers, but it has the motorcyclists are not deterred, they are just as common as ever.

“The only way to deal with wealthy car owners is to confiscate their cars, but I don’t know if the police have the power to do so.”

The Kensington and Chelsea Council has announced that it will reinstall its acoustic cameras this summer after running a pilot between September and December 2020.

During those four months, the cameras were “triggered” 1,948 times, the council said.

Not every trigger resulted in action, as the camera footage was checked each time to see if the sound was coming from a larger vehicle like a gutted truck, or from a car or motorcycle.

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A total of 144 criminal charges or fines and 69 warnings were issued. Fines start at £ 100 and can go up to £ 2,500.

The council would need government permission before it could impose higher fines, a spokesman said.

Councilor for Planning, Locality and the Environment, Councilor Johnny Thalassites, said: “The residents have made us realize that they are tired of drivers using our roads as a racetrack.

“We’ve been fined for a while, but the piloting of new sound camera technologies last year has helped us catch more of the worst offenders and issue 144 fines and 69 warnings. We will be bringing the cameras back in the worst hit areas for this summer . ” Protection of residents and employees from annoying noise and unsocial driving. “

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