On one of London’s most exclusive streets, the drivers of some expensive cars are getting ready to leave their parking spots. The owners of the Lamborghini and KTM X-Bow edge onto the road and drive off, the roar of their engines heard down Sloane Street.
Such supercars are a regular sight in the wealthy Knightsbridge neighbourhood – home to some of the British capital’s most expensive properties.
And while they draw admiring glances from passersby, residents complain their drivers make too much noise, often at late hours.
“The real problem for us is at night when they race up and down … revving their cars at high speed and making a really horrific noise,” resident Panda Morgan-Thomas said. “It’s quite impossible to sleep and that’s the real problem.”
Residents’ complaints have now reached a point where the local council is planning to act.
Last week, the Kensington and Chelsea borough said it had begun consultation on introducing a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), based on 2014 legislation intended to deal with nuisances seen as detrimental to local communities.
The PSPO would prohibit the revving of engines, rapid acceleration and playing loud music among other activities.
“These are very wealthy people … who drive these sports cars, very upmarket models which have the facility to switch into sports mode,” Nick Paget-Brown, leader of Kensington and Chelsea council, told Reuters. “(This) means they can make an incredible amount of noise, even when they are stationary.”
According to the council, failure to comply with a PSPO means a fine of 100 pounds ($156) or potentially prosecution.
Residents say the drivers are locals or visitors from other countries, such as the Gulf states, who ship over the supercars.
Standing by his gold Ferrari, Iraqi kick-boxer Riyadh al-Azzawi said he agreed with the measure, adding that not all supercar owners were noisy drivers.
“At least we can stop these people from doing all of that because that ruins people’s image,” he said. “People come (here) to drive because we love cars … people taking pictures – it’s something nice.”
($1 = 0.6400 pounds)