Concerned William Street residents have complained that the erection of barriers at a council-owned car park opposite their homes has not prevented ‘little boy racers’ from congregating in the area.
Two women, who spoke to the ‘Journal’ on condition of anonymity, fearful that their homes could be targeted for speaking out, said the car park had once again been transformed into a noisy rallying point on Friday.
“My granny doesn’t keep well and on Friday night the cars were starting to gather again,” said one.
“There are nights the gates are being closed and there are nights they’re not.
“We did go over on Friday night to try to lock them, but they were padlocked open and we couldn’t get them locked.
“It was near 12.30 a.m. before it was locked.
“I work and my granny does not keep well and she won’t go to bed because she knows they are in the car park. She is worried in case anything happens at the front of the house.”
Last year residents campaigned for the installation of barriers to clampdown on the anti-social behaviour of motorists. This resulted in the erection of gates last month, with the facility now only supposed to be open from 7.30 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
One of the women who spoke to the ‘Journal’ yesterday said: “If you give me a key, I’ll go over at 10 p.m. and close them myself. On Friday night I contacted Gary Donnelly and said this is just getting worse. My children are up out of their bed again. I have five children and two of them don’t keep well. The noise coming from the car park wakens them.”
Independent Councillor for The Moor District Electoral Area (DEA), Gary Donnelly, said: “At 11.30 p.m. on Friday night some of the residents rang me to say that the gates weren’t closed and that there were cars in it and it was starting to pick up again with the usual suspects. I made a couple of phone calls and it was closed shortly afterwards. The residents, in their frustration, went over to try to close it but it was already padlocked open.
“It’s not acceptable. These people have already been through enough. We’re spending money to install the gates but they are not even being locked on time.”
A council spokesperson said there was an issue with the scheduled closure and once it was highlighted officers contacted their contractor to ensure that the site was cleared and the gates locked.
Provisions have been put in place to ensure the gates will be locked as per the agreed schedule moving forward.
One of the residents said that there was another issue separate to the ‘boy racers’.
“People are going in and parking their cars, sauntering up the town or doing whatever they are doing.
“They know the car park closes at 10 p.m.but then they are coming back and all they have to do is ring the number and they’ll come out and let them out.
“Personally, I think if they put up a notice saying you’ll be stuck there until 7 a.m, people will stop abusing it,” she suggested.