September 17 2014 Latest news:
By Liz Coates
Friday, August 22, 2014
A leading businessman is calling for a determined crackdown on reckless boy racers after a child was nearly hit on a seafront zebra crossing.
Pleasure Beach owner Albert Jones said he felt compelled to speak out after the incident saying he could not have a death on his conscience and wanted to do all he could to stop the Golden Mile being used as a racetrack.
The issue had come to a head on Sunday with more than 100 cars creating a nuisance, destroying tourism just when it needed a boost.
But worse than the noise menace was the threat to life and having lost a child himself he was desperate to save any parent from the life-shattering heartbreak of bereavement.
He said: “Something has to be done before somebody is killed sooner or later. I had that on my conscience on Sunday - I would rather lose the business and make sure every action that could be done was done to stop a child being killed.
“It is getting worse and it is unfair to the residents and the holidaymakers.”
Mr Jones said he had been in contact with police and visited stations in both Yarmouth and Caister to call for measures to deal with the trouble spot.
His actions were triggered by a shaken customer at the Pleasure Beach who told him she had had to grab her child by the scruff of the neck after a wheel-spinning car careered into their path as they stood at a zebra crossing.
Mortified, he has set about making his feelings known and says the struggling tourism scene is suffering because of the meetings which intimidate visitors and make them feel unsafe.
At the Pleasure Beach more and more people were asking for token refunds in a bid to leave early and escape what to many was a hostile environment, their cars surrounded by souped-up vehicles and the pound of pop music.
“I am just lost that in this day and age we cannot do something,” he said. “I believe it is now starting to affect business. If people want to stroll along the seafront after 6pm they are having to steer away.
“I am not against them as everyone is entitled to have a hobby. But surely there is somewhere more controlled. We have nothing to stop them from racing. There are no speed bumps and the lighting is poor. There must be somewhere where they can meet up but not in a built-up area on Yarmouth seafront near some of the best attractions.
“The residents are telling me it is 52 weeks of the year but what has brought it to a head is the speeding the other night. We need to stop a potential fatality. I cannot turn a blind eye. I know what it is like to lose a child.”
Albert and Mandy Jones lost their seven-week-old son Jay in 1992 from heart and lung problems.
A police spokeswoman said: “Police actively patrol Yarmouth seafront on Sunday evenings, where operational commitments allow, taking action against motorists where appropriate.
“We accept this is a long-standing issue and continue to work with all parties to find possible solutions.
“Due to the bank holiday, we will have additional resources in place this weekend supported by our roads policing units, to deal with any issues or offences robustly.”
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