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Neighbours win battle against supercar boy racers
Fines for supercar boy racers, but good luck getting them to pay up
Neighbours in one of Britain's most affluent areas have won their battle against noisy supercar drivers who rev their engines around their streets.
Millionaire boy racers will now face fines of £1,000(NZ$2,253) for leaving their vehicles running in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
The council has introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in Knightsbridge, London, to deal with the 'excessive level of noise nuisance, annoyance, danger or risk or harm or injury' caused by motorists.
The July arrival of expensive Arab-owned supercars has become an annual event in London as rich Qataris, Saudis, Emiratis and Kuwaitis move to Britain following the end of Ramadan to escape the baking midsummer months.
Many bring with them their moderated vehicles, which for much of the time are parked outside luxury shops, five-star hotels and other exclusive streets around Knightsbridge.
Over the past few years, supercar enthusiasts from the UK and Middle-East have been accused of using the streets around Harrods as a playground for their driving antics.
Videos have emerged of the cars being driven recklessly through narrow streets at motorway speeds while other motorists have performed anti-social burnouts.
The situation was highlighted in the 2013 documentary 'Millionaire Boy Racers', and some locals have said the situation has worsened.
But while it was initially wealthy foreign tourists from the Middle-East making the noise, the problem has been made worse by Brits descending on the Royal borough in their performance cars.
A consultation was announced in the summer - and the PSPO has now been brought into place.
Motorists are now prohibited from revving their engine, rapidly accelerating, racing, performing stunts, sounding horns or causing obstructions.
They are also banned from leaving the engine of a stationary car running.
Residents can call a 24-hour number and report the nuisance drivers, and council officers have delegated powers to enforce the notices.
If police or council officers arrive and the driver is still there, they will be handed the fine, but residents can also report their number plates to the authority.
Cllr Tim Ahern, cabinet member for Environment, said: 'I am sure local residents will welcome the introduction of the PSPO.
'We know they have suffered for some time with people racing around the streets, accelerating and breaking and congregating on certain streets to show off their cars.
'The new powers mean the council and police can do more if they catch drivers acting in an antisocial manner.
'We welcome everyone to the Royal Borough and I'm as happy as the next person to see some of these amazing cars.
'I'd just ask the small number of motorists in the borough who will be affected by the PSPO to show some consideration and not keep our residents up at all hours of the night.'
Motorists who breach the order could face a maximum penalty of £1,000 or a fixed penalty notice of £100.
In the case of foreign residents, if they refuse to pay, the council will contact the individual's embassy and ask them to enforce the notices. If they are unable, it will then be passed on to the driving authorities in their respective countries.
Panda Morgan-Thomas, a resident, spoke of her joy at the announcement.
She said: 'I am delighted that the council has finally taken action and I very much hope that this step will prove effective.
'It remains to be seen whether a fine, which must appear small to people who can afford to drive around in cars worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, and sometimes millions, will have an impact.
'However, at last the issue of noise pollution in residential areas -has been recognised and the council has taken a step forward for which they are to be thanked and congratulated.'