Another night of damage at Ludlow’s Eco Park. Enough is enough. Shropshire Council must act

Last night, young racers caused significant damage to the surface of the Eco Park park and ride site. There was also much spinning of vehicles on the Eco Park over the weekend. This is not new. But neither the police of Shropshire Council seem interested in tackling the problem.

In Ludlow, we have a long term problem with young racers. The police seem to prefer them to be at the Eco Park where they do not disturb town centre residents. We had a clampdown on young racers last year but this now seems to be off the police’s radar. Viv Parry and I have received several complaints in recent days. We are both appalled by the continual damage, littering and fly-tipping.

The damage is significant and this afternoon Viv Parry and I met highways officers to talk about repairs. We will meet Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting as soon as we can to press the case for a long term solution.

The noise of the young racers over the last few nights has been so loud that it could be heard well beyond Sheet Village. One of my complainants lives 400m away from the park and ride.

The CCTV system on the Eco Park site has never been connected. Shropshire Council has failed miserably to invest in the park and ride area. Disabled parking signs were knocked over by young racers years ago. It seems to have never crossed the council’s mind to do any repairs on a site that should be a premier centre for business and sustainable transport.

A temporary surface was installed in the park and ride area when the Eco Park was built a decade ago. The plastic matting has been breaking up since. Shropshire Council Highways has shovelled aggregate into the holes but it has been a losing battle. Yet the owner of the Eco Park, Shropshire Council, hasn’t spent a penny on the park and ride facilities in a decade.

Last night the damage was serious. I am not an engineer but the surface looks irreparably damaged to me. This is peak tourist season in Ludlow. We need the park and ride to be fit for purpose.

Every day, there is serious littering on the park and ride area from youngsters. We have asked for extra bins but they were refused by Shropshire Council. Instead, the council has preferred to pay Ringway and Keir to clean up the daily mess.

What should be a showcase estate and transport hub is beginning to look like an inner city industrial estate. Would this be allowed to happen at one of the Shrewsbury park and ride sites? It would never happen in the county town.

We councillors are calling for action. We need Shropshire Council to recognise that the park and ride is one of the premier gateways to Ludlow and is vital to sustainable transport objectives. We need Shropshire Council to proactively manage the public realm in the Eco Park estate not just let it decay. But decay rather than investment seems to be its current policy.

The police also need to act. The issue is for them seems out of sight and out of mind. The best way of getting the police to act is for people affected by the noise and antisocial behaviour to file complaints with the police on 101 or ludlow.snt@westmercia.pnn.police.uk. Our local police officers can also be contacted directly on their mobile phones.

We need immediate action by the police and Shropshire Council to damp down a growing problem. Because nothing is done about antisocial behaviour in our town, more of it occurs. This is not just a young racer problem. The spread of graffiti and petty vandalism around the town is on the increase.

At the Eco Park, we need a long term solution for a Shropshire Council owned site which is being wrecked by vandals.

Enough is enough. We should stop this damage to council and transport assets. We should end this damage to the reputation of Ludlow as a premier tourist destination. And we should give the people who live near the Eco Park a permanent break from this antisocial behaviour.