Call to censure magazine after recent death
Another fatality on a notorious stretch of road promoted by a motoring enthusiasts’ magazine has prompted calls for the publication to be referred to the industry watchdog.
Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd said Evo magazine’s promotion of stretch of road in the Cerrigydrudion area had led to it being dubbed the “Evo Triangle”.
Local people have warned consistently about cars and motorbikes using the triangle as a racing track, putting themselves and other drivers at risk.
A fortnight ago a motorcyclist was killed. A year before that a couple were killed in a high-speed collision for which a man was recently sentenced.
Mr Gruffydd, who raised the matter with the Business Secretary in the Assembly chamber today (Tuesday), said, “The Evo Triangle has achieved a certain notoriety because it has been promoted by this magazine. Local people and farmers have raised concerns with me, the police and the council to try to make the road safer and it’s difficult to emphasise how dangerous these roads can be with cars and bikes reaching incredible speeds and often taking bends on the wrong side of the road.
“Mugs, T-shirts and car stickers promoting the Evo Triangle mimic the famous Nurburgring circuit logo. But there’s one significant difference between this and any official circuit – it’s open road and other drivers are not aware that it’s being used as a race track.
“People have described this as a ‘life-size Scalextric track’ and a ‘Disney World for driving enthusiasts’. But this idea of living the dream soon turns into a nightmare when people lose control. Some of the videos (1) taken by the drivers concerned are staggering in terms of the speed and risks taken as well as the ease that control can be lost.
“The magazine is irresponsible in its promotion of this road, which a minority are using as a race track. Perhaps the views of the vast majority who wish to use the roads for their correct purpose is best summed up by Debbie, someone who left a comment under the magazine’s review of the road:
Racing should be kept for the track – not public roads. My sister and partner were killed on this road last year by a driver travelling at between 103 and 107 mph – my sister and partner were travelling at approx. 45mph! These recommendations just encourage drivers to drive in ways that their ambition far outweighs their talent!!!
Mr Gruffydd added, “This comment is the reality not the fantasy.
“For this reason I’m calling on the Welsh Government to refer this magazine to the Independent Press Standards Organisation, so that we ensure roads in Wales are used responsibly. If people want to race, there are purpose-built tracks, including one on Anglesey that I’m sure Evo and other motoring magazines would endorse.
“Racing on open roads is madness. It’s risking innocent lives, it’s stretching our emergency services and causing huge stress to local residents who are often the first on the scene of these terrible accidents.”
Mr Gruffydd called on the cabinet secretary for the Economy to make an urgent statement on the matter before more lives were lost.
Videos showing high speeds and near misses on the Evo Triangle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6dt0cgFrEE – this shows speeds of 98mph being reached