An illegal car rally took place in Tameside, Greater Manchester on Sunday which caused traffic jams on nearby motorways.
Police were called to an industrial estate in the town of Denton after hundreds of people brought their cars to the location just outside the M60 motorway.
Alarming footage from the Sunday event shows large rows of cars being lined up near the industrial estate, with several members of the public not wearing face masks nor conforming to any sort of social distancing.
An illegal car meet took place at an industrial estate in Denton, Greater Manchester, with emergency services called to break up the event
Hundreds of motorists attended the event in Tameside, which clearly abused social distancing advice put forward by the government
The event gained a lot of attention on social media, including complaints from members of the public and the local MP for Denton
Witnesses compared the event to ‘bonfire night’ and a Formula 1 race due to the popping of cars and Greater Manchester Police from the Tameside & South West force were called to the scene.
A police helicopter was also needed as emergency services became concerned with the large meet.
A statement from Greater Manchester Police said: ‘Officers are currently dealing with an incident at Tameside Business Centre, Windmill Lane in Denton where there is an increased activity in vehicular traffic.
Can we please ask that you avoid this and the surrounding area. Sadly this is putting a massive strain on our services at this time and it is causing a back log of traffic, however we hope we can quickly have things resolved with your help.’
A resident living near the industrial estate said: ‘The whole of Denton is gridlocked. It sounds like bonfire night with the cars popping.’
Denton MP Andrew Gwynne displayed his disapproval for the car meet, tweeting: ‘Completely irresponsible and I’m informed the Police are on it. In fact as I type, the Police helicopter is overhead.’
The car rally caused long traffic jams on the M60 motorway while the M66 and M66 routes were also affected by the illegal event.
Those who attended the event did not conform to social distancing and many chose not to wear face masks despite coronavirus fears
Cars line up at the industrial estate as the illegal car rally grew alarmingly in terms of numbers. It was compared to bonfire night and a Formula One race due to the popping of cars
There were also reports on social media of dangerous driving around the Denton area, including drivers speeding up and down the hard shoulder of the M60.
North West Motorway Police assured members of the public that patrols had been put in place in the relevant areas.
‘M60, junction 24 both anticlockwise and clockwise we have heavy congestion – this is due to an apparent car meet off the motorway network.
The car meet caused several traffic jams at junction 24 of the M60 while the M66 and M67 were also affected by the illegal meet-up
‘It is however impacting around M60, M67, M66 – we are getting numerous re vehicles using the hard shoulder at speed, please take care.’
North West Motorway Police then confirmed that the traffic had eased just before 6pm.
Illegal raves have been taking place across England in the last couple of days. On Saturday night, police were called to break up a block party near Notting Hill in central London.
Meanwhile in Bath, police struggled to shut down a party of 3,000 revellers fifteen hours after it started.