Councillor in appeal to young Carn drivers

Margaret Tinsley and Robert Smith.
Margaret Tinsley and Robert Smith.

A councillor who lives in the Charlestown New Road area has added her voice to safety fears over dangerous driving in the area.

Margaret Tinsley of the DUP appealed to young people to “think of their families”, adding that she had dealt with the devastation left by road accidents caused by speed.

The issue was highlighted in last week’s Portadown Times when PUP representative John Stevenson said cars were meeting up and “rallying”, with some racing along at speeds of up to 100mph.

He claimed the PUP had taken videos and reported the activity to the police but that it was still taking place.

However, Mrs Tinsley insisted police had acted on the problem, but that by the time they arrived the cars had dispersed.

The councillor, who also sits on the Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), became aware of the activities about two months ago when she heard the squealing of brakes on a number of occasions.

The worst was Sunday two weeks ago, around 8.30pm, when the noise went on for around 20 minutes. She said, “There were about 12 cars and the young ones were ‘doing donuts’ in the industrial estate.

“I contacted police, as did at least one other resident, and they said they would get the motorway police to go up straight away.

“I have no objection to young people meeting up to talk about cars but I am worried when they indulge in behaviour that could put lives at risk. The Charlestown New Road is used by a lot of walkers and cyclists.

“I don’t want to spoil young people’s fun but I have worked with families who have lost young people through road speed and I have experience in my own family of road loss as well.”

She added, “Through the PCSP, we have been working with the police on this problem, and they have shown me the increased patrols in this area. I’m not sure if the young people contact each other by text but often they pop up and then they are gone again just as quickly.”

A spokesperson for the PSNI said police treated dangerous and careless driving “with the utmost seriousness”.

Inspector Gary Jones, Portadown Neighbourhood Policing Team, said, “When we are made aware of dangerous driving we adapt our patrol patterns to include areas of concern and target resources to detect and deter this type of activity.”

He said information such as videos and registration numbers of cars involved would be invaluable as would dates, times and locations.