Tunnel runs 'not a concern' says council

By Rob Virtue on November 13, 2012 3:38 PM |


MP Jim Fitzpatrick accused Tower Hamlets Council of ignoring anti-social behaviour after it told him it had no concerns about Westferry Circus being used for 'tunnel runs'.

The Poplar and Limehouse MP last week condemned the craze, which sees hundreds of modified cars take a route along London's underground roads.

He wrote to both the police and the council over the issue after residents around Westferry - which has a circular tunnel under Canary Wharf - complained to him they were being kept awake late into the night by car noises from the tunnel runs.

However, just days before a BMW event is planned for London, the council's head of safer communities, wrote to the MP to say neither the local authority nor the police were concerned.

"The Council have a hear no evil, see no evil approach to the tunnel runs at the moment which means hands off until a serious accident happens," saod Mr Fitzpatrick.


"This is giving tunnel runs an easy ride through our borough and giving them time to cover their tracks. The events are anti-social and residents' voices must be heard on this issue now and not later."

Meanwhile, one of the organisers of tunnel runs has spoken out in defence of the events.

Car fanatic club Miss Banzai was criticised by Mr Fitzpatrick for a meet of Japanese vehicles last month. However, it said it meant no harm and said its events were safe.

It also said it was worried about the affect negative publicity would have on its fundraising.

Miss Banzai's Lisa Rush said over £25,000 had been made for groups such as London Air Ambulance from fundraising.

"We fear coverage like this will upset charities who would want to distance themselves from us," she said.

Lisa said Miss Banzai always alerted the police to tunnel runs and they had told her there have been no complaints from residents in Tower Hamlets.

"I'm sorry if people are woken up," she said. "The reason we do these in tunnels are to minimise noise."

She added there had been no accidents in the five years of events.

The next tunnel run, Lost Without A Cause, is for BMW owners and is planned for Saturday.

According to its Facebook page over 180 people have already signed up to take part.