Currently reading: Supercar crackdown - London drivers to be fined for 'excessive' noise
Drivers in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea could soon face legal action as the Council moves to prosecute drivers for excessive noise
Darren Moss
News
4 mins read
29 July 2015

Supercars could soon face prosecution in parts of London as local councils move to ban excessive noise.

Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council has this week launched a consultation to introduce new measures to tackle what it calls “the problem of supercars” in and around the Knightsbridge area.

Known locally as a hotspot for supercar traffic, residents are complaining about excessive noise levels and anti-social behaviour. As part of its consultation, the council says it will be looking to address “the issue of high-performance cars speeding in the streets, drivers revving engines and vehicles causing obstructions.”

To tackle the problem, the council is looking to introduce a Public Space Protection Order for the area, which would allow restrictions to be imposed and drivers to be prosecuted for breaking them. Fixed penalty notices of up to £100 could be handed down to drivers.

Under the new rules, drivers could be prosecuted for revving their engines, speeding, demonstrating “sudden or rapid acceleration,” driving in convoy, racing, leaving the engine turned on in a stationary vehicle, performing stuns, sounding horns (when deemed to be causing a public nuisance), playing loud music, using threatening or intimidating behaviour or causing an obstruction.

Speaking to Autocar, the head of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council Nick Paget-Brown said: "It will need to be enforced jointly by the Police and by the Council’s Noise Nuisance Department. We want to send a clear message to these drivers that we would prefer them not to come into the area with their supercars."

If approved, the Public Space Protection Order would remain in place for three years, but could be extended further. The order can be imposed under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act introduced in the UK last year.

Councillor Tim Ahern, Cabinet Member for Environment, Environmental Health and Leisure, said: “I know there has been a lot of coverage of expensive cars racing around Knightsbridge and also parking up and revving their engines. We want to take steps to discourage these drivers from their antisocial behaviour.” 

Blog - Is London's supercar crackdown a good idea?

Local resident and councillor Quentin Marshall told The Sunday Telegraph: “The noise goes on all day but it is worse in the evenings and at night. It used to be limited to the summer, but now it is becoming pretty much all year round. We are just trying to stop these people who are abusing the rules and using their cars to make a very loud noise.”

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Writing in The Guardian, Paget-Brown said: “We’re not killjoys. I know the joy of taking my wheels for a ride on a summer’s evening – but my Honda Jazz and Elgar CD are barely audible even at the kerbside.

“McLarens, Ferraris, Bugattis and Lamborghinis are a very different story.

“Over the past few years, Knightsbridge has become a magnet for a number of young men, mostly from the Middle East, who drive supercars. It’s a sort of competitive peacocking really and routes and behaviours have quickly evolved – including speeding, causing obstruction and, worst of all, engine revving.”

Paget-Brown later clarified that the make of the car was less important than the noise it was capable of generating: "It’s not the make of the car, it’s the level of noise it generates," he said. "The message needs to be that if you’ve got a car that makes a loud noise and that part of the attraction of your car is in revving the engine, then don’t bring it into this area of London.

"Anybody who has a car which is not capable of being driven quietly should be very careful before they bring it into the area."

Paget-Brown also hinted that other London boroughs "will be looking closely" at the scheme, suggesting that if it is successful the new order could be adopted in other parts of the capital.

Some owners have fought back, however, saying the Council shouldn’t group all supercar owners together. Speaking to SWLondoner, one local resident and Lamborghini Aventador owner - who hasn’t been named - said: “It may be an extravagance but it’s one I’ve worked hard to achieve and it’s wrong to group all luxury sports car owners together as anti-social nuisances or hedonistic men going through a mid-life crisis.”

“Yes loud engines are part of the fun of one of these cars but I have always been considerate with mine.”

Youtuber Smee150 regularly documents the influx of supercars onto London's streets during the summer season, as can be seen in his video below.

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Do you think excessive noise from supercars should be banned in London? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Comments
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Richard 7004 5 June 2016

Already against the law but never enforced

The laws state you cannot make your car louder than standard (yes indeed this means 90% of performance exhausts are illegal to fit) and it's an MOT fail if louder than standard under 7.1 of the MOT manual that many garages ignore as they are enthusiasts themselves.
New cars, even performance cars are now incredibly quiet designed for a better quality of life from traffic noise.
However, manufacturers like Mercedes, BMW, Ferrari and Renault are cheating the noise regulations with their flagship performance cars, which is just as bad as VW cheating the particle emissions.
They fit flaps inside the exhaust pipe which come closed and make these cars very quiet as standard under EU regs, but the driver can then control with a button, or even worse they can buy electronic boxes to make all sorts of popping and banging noises when they accelerate very hard and then lift off hard.
Miltek sport are a company striving to make our densely populated towns ever noisier, they lobby MPs themselves to hinder any proposals to ban the noise making devices.
These devices are what encourage them to drive fast.
It's important to make use of your MP if you're disturbed, ask for the practice to be stopped and also the sale of loud pipes (illegal to fit, but hardly ever enforced) Also ask your local Police to issue a Section 59 notice to these idiot attention seekers. If not, then someone else will likely get speed limits reduced and speed bumps (seen it happen already, purely to stop boy racers)
Noisy pipes loose rights.
bowsersheepdog 31 July 2015

Jeepers creeping....

These supercar owners must be complete idiots. Don't they even know that you don't drive supercars in the city....that's what off-roaders are for.
Safari 30 July 2015

Post Code

The reality is that these cars are only going to be in the most expensive parts of London. Perhaps the residents have more clout in the council... They would probably moan if they heard cows in the countryside - or tractors. I am sorry but if you live in Central London be prepared for noise 24/7