BOY racers in Paphos are causing huge problems on a stretch of road in Kato Paphos resulting in complaints by hotel guests and residents, one of whom is launching an online petition to have the problem sorted before next year’s cultural capital events kick off.
One resident is drumming up support for an online petition to address the continuing problem of noisy racers that he said are using a popular seafront road to race their cars and bikes.
Mark Hemming is petitioning Mayor of Paphos, Phedonas Phedonos, to step in and address the well-known problem which he said is affecting residents, tourists and local businesses. He said this can be solved by introducing a number of speed-reducing measures, including speed bumps.
He said: “This problem of boy racers – and I use that term loosely – needs to be sorted out ahead of ‘Pafos2017’ and there should be a zero tolerance policy restricting this unnecessary noise pollution. This behaviour is anti-social and an embarrassment, it’s also a poor reflection on the police, and successive mayors and councils.”
The problem centres on anti-social owners of ‘souped up’ motorbikes and cars speeding and revving up and down Poseidonos Avenue, in Kato Paphos, an area popular with tourists, on a regular basis through the day, night and into the early hours, he said.
Hemming added that the problem has been going on for years, and that inaction by the police of local council has left the problem unchecked.
“Nothing has been done to reduce or stop this offensive behaviour carried out by irresponsible locals who have very little respect for others, their community or their environment. On occasions, they also remove the number plates on their vehicles so they can’t be reported,” he said.
Ashley Goddard, of the Thanos Hotel group, which operates two luxury hotels in the area said that he has received numerous complaints from disgruntled guests who have been disturbed by the noise late at night. He said holidaymakers are disappointed that the authorities don’t seem to take any action to prevent the practice.
“Our night mangers call the police when guests complain, but often by the time they arrive, the perpetrators have gone,” he said.
The hotel group has sent numerous letters to the municipality, the police and the District Office, but no firm action has been taken, he said.
He said that although the bikes and cars, many of them modified, look good when they’re parked outside cafes close by, when they leave, often late at night, drivers like to show off and screech up and down the road at speed.
“One day there will be an accident. Many of the motorcycle riders aren’t wearing helmets either. It’s a pity and it’s been going on for some time. The police need to show a presence there and there need to be speed bumps to help slow them down. Some of the cars are so low, that they would have a real problem going over them at any speed at all.”
However, a spokesman for Paphos municipality said that speed bumps are not a solution and that they would cause problems for other road users.
“It has been proved that speed bumps are not a solution, they solve some things and create others. The answer is to push the police to step up controls in the area. This is the heart of the town and the police must ensure security of the area.”
Head of Paphos traffic police, Zinon Psathites, told the Cyprus Mail that police respond to any calls they receive and that there is a regular police presence in the area.
“We always have traffic patrols in this area and if we receive a complaint about racing and so on, we will follow it up accordingly. We will stop cars, other vehicles and bikes, check them and the driver and increase patrols in the following days to reduce the problem.”
He added that if residents support the creation of speed bumps in the area, they should write a formal letter to the police and it would be passed on to the appropriate committee.
In his petition to the mayor, Hemmings has made a number of suggestions to eliminate the problem of speeding noisy cars and bikes. These include: erecting more speed restriction signs along Poseidonos Avenue, creating permanent speed bumps and ensuring that the police and the courts impose heavy fines or confiscate vehicles.
He also proposes that two further raised pedestrian crossings are added with dropped curbs for wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
“The crossings pedestrian crossings currently on Poseidonos Avenue are negligible and aren’t wheelchair friendly.”
Hemmings has appealed to the public to support his petition which may be viewed here: https://www.change.org/p/mayor-paphos-embaressment?recruiter=125519625&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink