Wigan joy riders to be hit with parking fines by supermarket

The Asda car park where young racers are causing mayhem each weekend
The Asda car park where young racers are causing mayhem each weekend

Boy racers are to be hit with parking fines as a supermarket bids to end a long-running nightmare for nearby residents.

Wigan Today has been reporting problems at the Asda hypermarket at Newtown for years as young motorists with souped-up cars descend on it in the evenings and especially when the store is closed on Saturday and Sunday nights.

The resultant early hours engine revvings and screeching brakes have become an ongoing social menace to people living in the homes on the site of the former Thomas More High School across Robin Park Road.

In fact a number have put their properties on the market saying they’ve had enough. Under-resourced police are unable to patrol the private property for nights on end and, like some bold residents, Asda staff have themselves faced abuse when trying to confront the rogue drivers.

But Asda bosses say the racers will soon be getting fixed penalty notices through their letterboxes if they hang about there.

A spokesman said: “We have cameras on site which recognise registration numbers and, if a motorist stays on the car park for longer than three hours, they are sent a parking fine.

“We have now made it so that when the store is not open - which is the peak time for these problems - the cameras are set so they send the fine after just 15 minutes. We are also looking at implementing more speed bumps.

“We do not condone this behaviour in our car parks and are in contact with the police.”

Mark Feagan, who lives on Thomas More Gardens, said: “It really is about time something was done. We’ve been promised so many times that the situation is being tackled but the noise and abuse continues. It’s gone on so long now that people are beginning to put their homes up for sale. We have also been in touch with Wigan MP Lisa Nandy.

“It is like The Fast And The Furious down there. They’ve taken their silencers off and when they are in the covered area - where there are no cameras I should add - revving up with flames and sparks coming out the back, that magnifies the noise even more. There are people trying to sleep, including folk on shifts.

”Asda should put up barriers to keep them out when the store in shut. Someone is going to get killed. Perhaps then they will act properly. I’m very dubious this action will make much difference.”

A spokesman for Ms Nandy said: “Lisa made representations to Greater Manchester Police on behalf of a resident concerning this issue last year, which resulted in GMP and Asda meeting and agreeing to a series of steps to try to prevent the car park being used for this.

Lisa is very concerned about anti-social behaviour and the risk to public safety that comes with such activity and is happy to make further representations on behalf of local residents to help ensure that this issue is resolved.”