Police stepping up patrols in Doncaster town centre after weekend saw cars crash through shop windows twice and speeding concerns

Police are stepping up patrols in Doncaster town centre after a weekend which saw cars crash through shop windows twice and concerns over speeding vehices.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 6:00 am

The move follows a call for more police and traffic safety measures, after this weekend’s incidents.

The first collision came after Saturday night, in the early hours of Sunday morning, when a car crashed through the front of the Doncaster Tap, on Young Street. Then 24 hours later, another vehicle smashed through the front of Relish Bar and Grill, on East Laith Gate. Police are investigating both incidents.

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The DOncaster Tap after the collision

Relish boss Paul Moullali said he has been concerned about the speed of vehicles on East Laith Gate for some time and felt traffic calming measures were needed.

"Perhaps bollards should be put on that corner?”, he said. “I think something needs to be done on that road.”

But Chris Coughlan, who runs the O'Donegans bar on Hall Gate, said there had been drivers hurtling through town at what he regarded as dangerous speeds throughout the weekend, some in high performance vehicles, and said he thought there needed to be more police on the streets to stop them.

He said: “It was a really busy weekend.

Relish after the crash on Sunday night

"But Friday and Saturday night it was like a racetrack, with quads as well as cars. I can’t believe the speeds some of them were doing. We need more police, and we need barriers. Some looked like they were going down Hall Gate at 80 or 90, and we have pavement drinking there.”

Insp Mark Payling said officers were aware of concerns raised in relation to the two incidents, which officers responded to over the weekend.

He said: “I would like to reassure the public that these incidents and the information provided by local businesses will be reviewed at our weekly Street Safe meeting held with partner agencies.

"Appropriate resources will be put in place in the key areas identified and our patrol plans around the wider town centre will also be enhanced this coming weekend and the weeks ahead.

Relish after the crash on Sunday night

“We know that speeding is an issue that our local communities are concerned about and we have extensive resources in place to ensure our roads are used responsibly and safely.

I would also like to reassure people that as footfall increases in the town centre, we will be working to identify any individuals who might be driving dangerously or putting others at risk. My officers will be working with our roads policing group to enhance speeding operations that are already taking place across Doncaster.

He urged people to report any incidents to his officers so they can adapt their patrol plans.

"Speeding is very much part of our daily business, with proactive patrols of the road network and vehicle checks taking place every day” he added. “We are committed to ensuring that people who risk the lives of others are prosecuted and action is taken.”

The DOncaster Tap after the collision

Dan Swaine, director of economy and environment at Doncaster Council said: “We are concerned to hear of instances of speeding in the town centre.

"The area is a 20mph zone with elements of traffic calming, and is clearly an environment where the need for low speeds is obvious. We would urge all motorists to take their personal responsibility for safety very seriously, and drive appropriately to the conditions and within the law at all times.

"The unintended consequences can be severe, including damage or injury, prosecution or even imprisonment.

“We have invested heavily in town centre improvements and infrastructure and will continue to do so. We want there to be a safe and welcoming environment for all, but this cannot be achieved by the Council alone – it relies on everyone playing their part.”

The first of the two high profile incidents happened around 12.30am – the early hours of Saturday.

A car hurtled through the front of The Doncaster Brewery and Tap, on Young Street, smashing the glass and demolishing brickwork. Police have been handed CCTV of the incident.

The first Ian Blaylock, who runs the venue with wife Alison, knew of the incident was when they received a call from the police, who are investigating the crash.

The venue has been open for outdoor drinking since the first relaxation of lockdown last month, and plans to re-open inside on May 17, and Mr Blaylock said those plans would not change.

He said: “What has happened is quite upsetting. But it’s lucky that we were not trading under normal circumstances this weekend, or Alison and myself would have still been there clearing up after closing time.

"As it is, it’s just bricks and mortar – it could have been a lot more serious.

"I think it has probably been a case of inattention from the driver.”

Then at around 12.30am on Sunday, a car crashed through the front of Relish, at the junction of East Laith Gate and Park Road. It is thought the car also collided with another vehicle.

The car had left the road and the front of the vehicle was inside the empty restaurant.

Owner Mr Moullali said: “It’s been a nightmare, really. But the main thing is that no one has been injured.

"We had recently started refurbishing ahead of re-opening next month. We had just finished work on the floor, and that will have to be re-done after this.

“Theres is a lot of damage, where he has gone through the window. It went right through the window, and the car’s lights were inside the restaurant.

"It is a cosmetic problem – you just dread to think what would have happened if we were open.”

He said Relish would still re-open on May 17, and would complete the refurbishment work which has included improvements to toilets, the bar and the light at the venue.

"It is a case of keep calm and carry on,” said Mr Moullali.

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