A crackdown on boy racers at a Quayside car park has been signed off by councillors.
Gateshead Council chiefs approved measures on Tuesday morning to ban nuisance racers from organising car rallies at the Mill Road Car Park, next to the Sage.
A new Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) means that it will now be an offence to either watch or take part in a rally there, and also bans anti-social behaviour including loud music, revving car engines, doing burnouts, and tooting horns.
Mill Road car park next to the Sage in Gateshead.
The order gives the council and Northumbria Police the power to slap boy racers with fines of up to £100 or even take them to court, with a potential fine of up to £1,000 on conviction.
The move comes after complaints that the car park has become a hotspot for late-night rallies which disturb neighbours, cause traffic problems in the area, and leave it covered in litter.
This is not the first time Gateshead Council has been forced to take action against boy racers. The local authority imposed a similar crackdown on rallies at the Metrocentre in 2017 and say it was “very effective” in putting a stop to the problem.
After the tough new measures were approved by the council’s cabinet, Coun Linda Green said: “Gateshead Council uses PSPOs to reduce anti-social behaviour and dog fouling across the borough.
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“We’ve looked differently at how we can use legislation to tackle problems that are of real concern to members of the public and partners, where traditional tactics have not completely solved the problem.
“We consulted widely with the public and in particularly those residents affected by the proposed new orders and we were pleased to receive a high level of support for them.
“We anticipate they will be implemented later in the autumn and we hope they will help improve the quality of life for people in those communities.”
The cabinet member for communities and volunteering added: “People living near to the car park should not have to put up with this kind of late night anti-social behaviour.
“A similar order at the Metrocentre car parks has proved very effective and the car meets taking place there have stopped.”
The PSPO at Mill Road will run for three years, though the car park is due to be lost anyway under plans to build a new £260m arena between the Sage and the Baltic.
Cabinet also agreed to extend an existing PSPO designed to tackle dog fouling, which makes it an offence for dog owners in the borough not to clean up after their pets.