Tunnel runners 'nutters' says MP

Opportunities for enjoying your car in London are few and far between. If the speed bumps, traffic wardens, speed cameras and congestion charge don't get you the sheer, will-sapping drudgery of endless stop-start traffic will.

So how can you enjoy a nice car in the capital? Well, if you're willing to have a late night and have a car with a loud exhaust you could always go and make some noise in a tunnel. What harm could that do? It's not like there are people living, walking or cycling in them and most have strict speed limits, many with camera enforcement.

Well, from, um, underground and well organised beginnings things have spiralled and the size, frequency and popularity of recent tunnel runs have been upsetting the locals, including MP for Poplar and Limehouse Jim Fitzpatrick.

In an EveningStandard article yesterday peppered with words like 'racing' and 'rallies', Fitzpatrick is quoted as saying "These people are nutters who are putting their lives and the lives of others at risk. I want to see them banned. I have had complaints from constituents who say the noise and the speed is awful."

In a piece last week on wharf.co.uk Fitzpatrick went further, saying "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."

So is he right? Are the many PHers who've participated in tunnel runs over the years really 'nutters'? And have tunnel runs, once an innocent activity enjoyed by a few noisy TVRs, become hijacked by some sort of renegade street racing culture? Or is he a spoilsport out to ban possibly the last legal way to enjoy driving a nice car in the city?

Over to you...

Photo: Highways Agency








P.H. O'meter

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Comments (281) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Morningside 26 Nov 2012

    MPs in miserable fun killing shocker or how to win friends and influence people.

  • Marf 25 Nov 2012

    Ross Parker said:
    Comments are good smile

    BMW Events said:
    Dear Reader,
    I believe Mr Fitzpatrick may have amnesia. You see, I am one of the organisers of this event and I wrote to the Mp a few weeks ago asking on how we could work together. I also repeatedly called, emailed, public facebooked and private facebooked, but unfortunately, Mr Fitz forgot to get back to me each time. The Mp also seems to forget that our event was pre-approved by the council and that it was us who spoke to the police weeks before. He also must have forgotten that we were only there for two hours and parked sensibly so that even the buses had no trouble getting past. He has also forgotten that our photography and talk of cars and motorsport did not cause any accidents or injury. He also forgot that all our vehicles were marked with charity iconography and window stickers to aid our police chaperones with identification. In regards to the person caught going the wrong way around the roundabout, we didn’t even know until today; it certainly wasn’t while we were there. This driver didn’t have our recognition markers, and wasn’t mentioned during the positive feedback telephone calls by either the police or the council, so we can only assume it was a particularly rebellious individual or a figment of Jim’s imagination. Amnesia does seem logical, after all, he did forget to abide by the rules of the house of Commons in 2009 when he was found guilty of sending thousands of unsolicited letters and coffee invites at taxpayer’s expense; and then, for his own political gain, forgot to aid the fraud investigation and refused to apologise since the general election was imminent. Perhaps in time, Jim will also forget this vote grabbing tactic against legal motor enthusiasts, and will remember to look at the important things in his constituency, like the fact that last year Poplar and Canning town was ranked the second worst place in the UK for child poverty (55% of households). On a more positive note, those two hours of BMW fun raised an estimated £500 for Demelza Children’s Hospice. Charity starts at home Jim, let us be the ones who lead it.
    Thanks and regards,

  • fatboy18 25 Nov 2012

    And so it goes on rolleyes

    Sadly there are many people in London who don't drive, hate the motorist and everything it stands for.

    idea We need to go back to the 60s Love thy neighbour, Peace, flower power.....Hang on we do have Bio fuels now biggrin

    You will never change their mindset banghead

    Move on ...Brum Brum

  • Dizeee 25 Nov 2012


  • Ross Parker 25 Nov 2012

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