London Tunnel Run 2017: Thousands of boy racers cause 'chaos and gridlock' on London's roads with mass convoy

Hatty Collier

Thousands of boy racers caused “chaos and gridlock” on London’s roads as they staged a mass late-night convoy through the capital.

Witnesses described being stuck in “horrendous” traffic after the annual controversial high-performance car rally took place on Sunday night.

Up to 4,000 people had pledged to attend the London Tunnel Run, an annual parade of souped-up vehicles around the capital’s roads.

Residents complained of loud music blaring, engines revving and participants driving “erratically” as they gathered for a “huge static meet-up” at the Surrey Quays shopping centre car park at about 8pm before winding their way through the capital.

Mass ride-out: Drivers gathered at Surrey Quays on Sunday night for the London Tunnel run (@YeahLukeTweets)

Drivers set off on the mass rideout at 10.30pm, cruising through Limehouse into the city and passing famous landmarks including the Westminster and Tower bridges and the London Eye.

Police had warned drivers they faced having their vehicles seized if they took part in the annual parade of souped-up cars.

A Met Police spokeswoman told the Standard that no arrests were made and no issues were recorded at the event.

Footage posted on social media showed drivers carrying out stunts as they drove through the streets and the Surrey Quays shopping centre car park packed with vehicles as loud music blared.

People gather at the controversial high-performance car rally (@YeahLukeTweets / Luke Philpott)

The Rotherhithe and Blackwall tunnels were forced to close because of the traffic caused by the rally.

Resident Jerry Hewitt, who lives on the Hawkstone Estate, told the Standard: “Surrey Quays Shopping Centre was invaded and taken over completely.

“Traffic and buses were gridlocked till 1am and residents furious because of the terrible noise. We measured 100 decibels and that was 100m away from the event.

“We saw no police and TFL had to close the Rotherhithe Tunnel for a while. What's the point of max 20mph roads if there's zero enforcement?"

@HattyCollier pic.twitter.com/nB2pYHL0cz

— Luke (@Yeahluketweets) April 17, 2017

Another witness, who did not give his name, said: "Last night the estate where I live in Canada Water was reeling from the noise of loud revving of cars and motorbikes and loud bangs from backfiring exhaust.

"The music was so loud that our flats were shaking from the bass. It was a great show of cars but the wrong place and the wrong time.

"Our police were overwhelmed by the amount of cars and bikes."

Darren Lloyd said there were fast cars driving “erratically” in the car park and that he feared someone would get hurt.

A Twitter user named Jess said: “Stuck in the traffic chaos. Took two hours for 40 min journey. Noise and fumes truly awful. @lb_southwark #SurreyQuays.”

Ahead of the event Tower Hamlets police had urged drivers to stay away from the area and warned they would be clamping down on anyone who caused a disturbance.

In a statement published online, they warned: “Any unnecessary noise, antisocial behaviour or traffic offences will be dealt with robustly to prevent disruption to the community and other road users."

A Met Police spokesman had told the Standard an appropriate policing plan would be in place with a number of officers on duty along the route.

But a spokesman for event organisers Essex Cruising accused the police of overreacting.

He said: "It's a social gathering and nothing for the police to worry about. We will only be passing through like normal road users.

"To be honest I'm not really sure what all the fuss is about. We pay road tax to drive on a public road."

He added: "I think it's a little over the top and would probably be a waste of time and money."

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