Blackwood car cruisers are to drive down the town’s High Street one last time before it closed off.
The road is to be closed on Thursday nights in a bid to stop the boy racers tearing up and down the street.
To mark the first of such closures this Thursday, a special car cruising event is being held at Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Pontllanfraith House to help get the message across to boy racers.
Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership has organised the ‘Big Screens and Mean Machines’ event.
Car cruisers are invited to attend the council office car park at 6pm on Thursday September 17 and will be led on a controlled drive down High Street at 6.40pm.
The road will then close behind them for the first time at 7pm.
The drivers will be led back down to the council office car park, where there will be a range of displays.
Attendees will be amongst the first see the full-length 30-minute ‘COW’ road safety film which highlights the dangers of texting and driving.
A four minute version of the film has become a global internet hit with millions of views on YouTube.
An Aston Martin DB9 and a Mitsubishi Eclipse used in the filming of the Fast and the Furious will also be on display.
Police officers, council officials and fire officers will be using the event to explain a number of issues to the drivers, including the details of the road closure, issues with noise nuisance, illegal modifications, speeding and safe driving.
Inspector Kevin Childs, from Blackwood’s neighbourhood policing team, said: “Car cruising in Blackwood has been occurring for over 25 years and it’s time that residents were able to visit local stores on Thursdays, without being intimidated or stuck in traffic.
“We don’t have any problems with drivers who look after and care for their cars, but we do strongly object to the behaviours that can often come along with car cruising. During a recent operation over five Thursday nights, we caught over 250 drivers speeding.
“We quite simply don’t have the road infrastructures in this area to cope with the large influx of cars every Thursday night. Local businesses, such as Asda, are also taking positive action to prevent large groups of cars gathering, acting in an antisocial manner and intimidating residents. We want to use this night to get across crucial road safety measures and very simply explain that car cruising is not welcome in the area.”
Councillor Lyn Ackerman, cabinet member for the environment, said: “At its height, over 300 cars and 500 people were congregating in the town’s car parks and driving up and down the High Street until the small hours, causing great disturbance and anti-social behaviour for local residents and businesses.
“We in no way wish to be ‘kill-joys’ to those who look after and take pride in their cars, but residents have put up with car cruising and the negative issues it often brings with it for long enough, and this event, combined with the road closure order which comes into force on the same evening, we hope will help us to allow local residents and businesses to enjoy quieter lives, which they are fully entitled to.”