MP demands action on 'fast and furious' tunnel runs

By Rob Virtue on November 1, 2012 11:13 AM |

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Modified cars racing through east London's tunnels are endangering motorists and making life a misery for residents, says Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick.

The Labour MP said up to 400 cars are congregating in Dartford and Essex and racing along a route which covers the Blackwall Tunnel and the Limehouse Link.

Mr Fitzpatrick, who has written to Tower Hamlets Police and the council demanding action on the organised events, also said the cars are using the tunnels at Westferry Circus to regroup and film stunts.

He pointed out a YouTube video from October 20 which saw an estimated 265 Japanese fast cars gather in the roads under the Canary Wharf estate.

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Mr Fitzpatrick said: "These cars use the tunnels and the route for no other purpose than to showcase the sound and speed of their cars. Videos posted online show dangerous and loud street car racing which belongs in a Hollywood movie and not the streets of east London.

"As well as causing a disturbance to residents the fast cars endanger motorists on the road. We need these tunnels runs off the road which means a dispersal zone and barriers on race nights."

The MP, who has received numerous complaints from constituents, said a Twitter message following the October 20 meet said: "@MissBanzai Well, another #TunnelRun draws to a close. 3hrs from Start to Finish for most, 10 Tunnels, 265 Jap Motors woke up #London, one more time."

16 Comments

simon said:

funny how this MP has only tarnished car enthusiast with a bad brush, waking up... umm no body in these tunnels, as last time i checked no body lives in them

but should this money raised for charity be taken away too? or has this "MP" neglected to note that fact

http://www.justgiving.com/TunnelRunOctober2012

kirsty said:

hi i don't think there is a problem with tunnel runs its not the fact of showing off or speeding with your cars its just a fun filled event to all get your nice cars all together and enjoy a run together. no one is in danger as no speeding it committed as most of them are known by the police that are out on force within the whole area of the run so speeding doesn't take place thanks

Miniteshi said:

Sorry but this has been going on for years. The only reason why its been bought up in this light is the fact it is a wealthy area of London where image is more important than other areas.

A few years back, Police KNEW these tunnel runs, meets were taking place and clamped down DURING the event. Eg stopping cars, searching for maps or any kind of merch relating to it all but these days, no one cares till it goes viral via social media network.

Personally, these events cannot be stopped. Looking at it this way, someone online has posted "The MissBanzai team are dealing with these complaints via the City of London police and would respectfully refrain from replying to this forum as we would like this all just to blow over so it does not effect future events"

So what does that tell you, MP's and anyone in power has no way of stopping these things. You would be better off working with event organisers in having a friendly cruise. I can bet my money on it that it would be met by a better audience from all.

All this street racing is illegal and dangerous is starting to bore me. If there was some support for these "Charity Runs", im pretty sure you would have something more civil.

I was not there nor do I condone the actions of others but the fact that 99% of the cars are ROAD LEGAL make it difficult to point the finger at the "street racers".

Miniteshi said:

Sorry but this has been going on for years. The only reason why its been bought up in this light is the fact it is a wealthy area of London where image is more important than other areas.
A few years back, Police KNEW these tunnel runs, meets were taking place and clamped down DURING the event. Eg stopping cars, searching for maps or any kind of merch relating to it all but these days, no one cares till it goes viral via social media network.
Personally, these events cannot be stopped. Looking at it this way, someone online has posted "The MissBanzai team are dealing with these complaints via the City of London police and would respectfully refrain from replying to this forum as we would like this all just to blow over so it does not effect future events"
So what does that tell you, MP's and anyone in power has no way of stopping these things. You would be better off working with event organisers in having a friendly cruise. I can bet my money on it that it would be met by a better audience from all.
All this street racing is illegal and dangerous is starting to bore me. If there was some support for these "Charity Runs", im pretty sure you would have something more civil.
I was not there nor do I condone the actions of others but the fact that 99% of the cars are ROAD LEGAL make it difficult to point the finger at the "street racers".

BOBVXRObobd said:

Whatever happened to the Chelsea cruise. Nobody used to complain about that. Oh yeh, that was when only the rich kids could afford to customise their cars and needed somewhere to show them off. Oh yeh, by the way I have attended at least ten charity events this year, how any has the complainant attended?

delia said:

No other purpose then to showcase?.... They actually do this to raise money for charity?! And they raise a lot for it!! Racing..... Logic would tell you that to have that many cars through tunnels at one time would be physically impossible to speed and cause any danger. I believe the pace is 10mph or stopped! It is held for genuine car enthusiasts, not the boy racing chavs they are thinking of. London residents don't complain at the one night a year a ton of extremely loud music and fireworks are set off for new years I bet. And missbanzai do it all for charity twice a year. Doing more for charity then these so called MPs hey...

Anonymous said:

Like some of the comments, especially the one with regards to fireworks night being far louder, far more dangerous, far more of a stretch on the already dwindling emergency services and certainly not for charity. Unless the government can tax it (which lets face it every product bought,every litre of petrol and every car taxed and mot'd they've made their money) they don't want it because it might disturb their posh post code area for one evening. How about treating people that pay there taxes, keep their cars in far better condition than an every day motorists, have an evening of fun ? At least we not sat inside smoking dope and making welfare babies sucking up resources that could be used for something far more positive. No we are the workers that pay our taxes that have a hobby we love that causes nothing more than a little noise now and then. We pay road tax that doesn't get used to actually keep roads in an adequate condition therefore we also end up paying out for the damage caused to our cars by these pathetic non maintained British pot holed filled tarmac jokes. However we soldier on working long hours making sacrifices to achieve what we want with our pride and joy and the government wants to take that positive mental attitude and wipe it out because they don't like it, They need to take a look at what they really need to sort out in this country. A hobby with work ethics a community and tax paying car lovers is not one of them. Read this and get a grip Mp's

David Critchley said:

These Tunnels are underground - who exactly lives there ?

I would ask the honourable gentleman if he has ever actually been on one of these runs before? It's easy to whip up media frenzy, but even the newsreader didn't seem entirely convinced by your argument, the very nature of which changed during the interview from speeding to being too loud to being dangerous. Which is it? Do you have facts, figures? Claiming 400 cars are involved probably suggests you don't have the facts straight. There are always going to be people that operate outside the law, and they should be stopped, but do your homework, get your facts and present your case properly - it's your job to investigate the claim - so do it.

HINT: Try not to rely on Twitter and Facebook for facts - everyone knows pub talk figures are above the average...

Dave.

Mrs Eileen Critchley said:

You really should try and do some real research before coming out with such ridiculous claims.

As an co organiser of the Japgirls Tunnel Run for the charity Breakthrough (cancer Charity).

No one was allowed to exceed the speed limit, no one was allowed to take part in a unroadworthy car. In fact as the name says they were all very powerful Japanese cars, people's pride and joy therefore looked after and maintained in a far better condition than the average family car. These cars are not cheap to maintain and own and have to pass the MOT so how can they be runing illegal exhausts simpley because they are often lounder than a everyday family runaround. Would you say the same about a ferrari, lamborghini, Austin Martin, etc etc.

Are you not aware there are infact speed camera's in London's Tunnels?

Tunnel runs are not about racing. There is no get to point 'A' quickly before any one else. Or beat the next car to the next set of traffic lights. You clearly have never taken the time to attend a Charity Tunnel Run in order to find out what really happens on one. If you wish to make Sweeping statemenst then you need to attend one and get first hand evidence of just what a Tunnel Run really involves rather than jump onto the bandwagon of hearsay and blatant lies.

Tunnel runs are not races and never will be races.

As for fast cars are a danger to other motorists so please enlighten me what engine size of car would you say is not a danger to other motorist? I think the green eyed monster of jealously might be rearing it's ugly head yet again.

When I wish to 'Race' my powerful, fast lound car I take it to Santa pod. I do not take it on a Tunnel Run. I take to Santa pod to race on the drag strip. I take it/organise a Tunnel run to be with like minded responseable drivers in a orderly convoy keeping to the laws of the land, enjoying the beauty and work put into keeping these cars in excellent condition while raising funds for some well worthy charities.

What have you done lately for charity?

'Those who live in glass house's shouldn't throw stone's' comes to mind.

J said:

The problem with these runs is the noise, living by the limehouse link tunnel, and westferry circus underground roundabout all you hear is the very loud noise from these cars when trying to sleep. No one lives in the tunnels, but the tunnels act as a megaphone for the noise to the surrounding residents.

Using the excuse of charity still does not resolve the issue of noise pollution to residents that cannot avoid the noise over night.

Do this in an appropraite venue not on the public highway.

s dyer said:

i find it highly amusing they say this is dangerous and anti social and then universal are given the green light to shoot the next of these 'Hollywood' films in central london.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvy_RQu2WF0

Chris said:

I'd rather this misguided MP and his alleged disgruntled constituents concentrated on bringing MP's that fiddle expenses to justice, instead of talking out of their backsides.

Did the people in the East End complain about the noise when they were being bombed in the blitz?

No, they just got on with their lives and didn't let it get to them, for SIX YEARS!!

So, two events a year get the current crop of Eastenders' knickers in a twist?

Thank heavens I don't have to live among people like that!!

J said:

@Chris I find your comparison about the noise created by people driving their cars with loud exhausts through tunnels that then make the sound even louder, at times when local residents want to sleep a little stupid to say the least. The blitz was not people messing about in their cars for amusement.

The simple answer is that these runs should take place in your own neighbourhood, and not that of people that have nothing to do with the run and do not want to put up with the noise.

Rob said:

Why can't these English chavs stay out in Essex or whatever other hole they come from. East London is full of us immigrants doing, I mean, stealing, the jobs that they are too stupid and lazy, I mean, discriminated again, to do. We don't want English chav petrolheads around here.

Russell G said:

J, if you live right next to the Limehouse Link tunnel, that means you also live under the loud flight path for City Airport. Should we close that down? And the DLR must run right past your place. That needs shutting down too right?

I am also a local resident and I must say that not all of us are against others enjoying themselves in this harmless activity. This MP is overreacting to a bunch of sad and pathetic whingers that have nothing better to do with their lives than complain that everyone else in the world are making them miserable.

J said:

@RussellG, the flight path comment is stupid, residents don;t complain about the normal traffic noise, or the noise of the planes, but we do complain about noise in the middle of the night that does not need to be there other then for the personal ansd selfish enjoyment of a few.

As before the only reason people drive through the tunnels in the these runs is to hear their already loud exhausts become even louder. Then park on the roundabout in Westferry circus (which is illegal).

As said before go drive your car, with a group of people if you must, but not in a residential area with the sole intention of making noise.

Thanks.