POLICE have spoken to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu after footage emerged of car enthusiasts pulling wheelies, tyre-spinning and driving on the wrong side of the road as they left an event there.
Online video shows a near-miss as one souped-up vehicle loses control and swerves into the path of an oncoming motorist.
Another car heads off round a bend on the wrong side of the road and later a motorcyclist is caught pulling a wheelie on the footage – which shows scores of cyclists and walkers passing by amid clouds of tyre smoke.
The latest incident follows complaints sparked by a convoy of Lamborghinis which drove two abreast on their way to a separate supercar day at Beaulieu, filmed for a social media publicity stunt by participating dealership HR Owen.
The police said they spoke to organisers then too.
New Forest residents living near routes to the motor museum have complained about the noise from high-powered cars heading there, with one man saying he had come to “dread” the regular summer events.
The latest video shows owners driving out of the museum onto the B3056 Hatchett Lane – where ponies, cows and donkeys roam – during Beaulieu’s Simply Japanese car event in July.
Watched by a crowd of enthusiasts filming and taking pictures, dozens of cars accelerate on to the 40mph public road, some swerving over the tarmac with tyres spinning.
One driver almost loses control, veering halfway onto the opposite side of the road into the path of another vehicle before sharply steering to safety by running over the grass verge in a cloud of dust.
As the motorists show off their cars – a pastime known as cruising – marshals can be seen directing traffic on the road but doing little to stop the more extreme behaviour.
In response to the video, a Hampshire Police spokesperson said: “Cruising is unacceptable on any road and careless driving of this nature can end in tragedy.
“We would urge anyone who witnesses this type of driving to call us immediately, as it’s happening.
“We work regularly with organisers of events such as this to ensure those involved drive responsibly and within the law.
“We will be contacting the organisers to highlight the issues and advise them on which measures should be taken at future events to avoid this happening again.”
The motor museum hosts a regular series of motoring rallies throughout the summer, drawing thousands of visitors to days dedicated to particular brands or styles of car. Commercial activities on the estate are run by Beaulieu Enterprises.
Concern is now being raised about their impact on the safety of New Forest roads which in the summer are busy with tourists, cyclists and open to roaming livestock.
David Harrison, a local councillor and member of the national park authority, questioned whether the police should get involved or if these kinds of events should even be axed.
He told the A&T: “Looking at the footage, it made me really angry. It’s clear that some of the drivers involved aren’t giving any thought at all to the fact that this is a national park with special additional hazards of animals and riders on our roads.
“Unfortunately, the national park authority has no say over what happens on the roads but I think there needs to be much more responsible behaviour on the part of drivers, enforced by the police if necessary. Otherwise it raises the whole question of whether events like this can continue.”
The Beaulieu Estate defended its handling of the event, saying it had worked “closely with the police”.
A spokesperson said: “We employ a traffic management company to control the entrances and exits to the attraction as best as they are able but, unfortunately, do not have jurisdiction on roads outside.
“We reinforce safe and responsible driving messages both before and during events and new additional measures are already being put in place, which we believe will help combat this behaviour in future.”
The Beaulieu Estate was defended by Tony Hockley, chair of the Commoners’ defence Association, who said it was working with his group and the verderers to ensure its events were “not associated” with driving that put animals or road users at risk.
He added: “Beaulieu Enterprises is a member of the Shared Forest Business Group, committed to safety on New Forest roads, and I am confident that they understand our concerns and will be stepping up on their existing measures to prevent dangerous driving by participants in their events.”
Totton resident David Hawkins told the A&T: “Living close to the A326 I have come to dread the Beaulieu car events.
“The noise and speed from the specialist cars far exceeds that from the normal traffic passing my house.”