Fury as litter louts leave mess in town car parks

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TRADERS whose premises face onto the Meadow Lane West (former Wellworth’s) car park are furious at the carpet of litter that faces them every Monday morning as they open up for business.

And the problem isn’t confined to any one car park in the town, as the same happens at the neighbouring ‘East’ park and at areas like the Fair Green, William Street and just about every one in the town.

Johnny Kendrick, salesperson at Starplan furniture store at Meadow Lane West, said, “It’s all a downward spiral. Young people seem to park in their droves at this and other car parks over the weekend. They have their Chinese, their McDonald’s or whatever, and then simply throw the remains into the car park.

“The car parks used to be cleaned up pretty promptly on a Monday morning. Still, you can’t really blame whoever is supposed to do the job. It shouldn’t happen in the first place. This is a pay car park - although the charges don’t pertain at nights or on Sundays.

“It must also be pointed out that there aren’t nearly enough litter bins in these car parks. The one outside our shop is full to the brim and then the rubbish is dumped on the ground beside it.

“It doesn’t leave much of an impression of Portadown. We’re not complaining that people have to pay 40p an hour, while the park across the road is free. You have to have a mixture.”

The Portadown Times tried to find out who actually was responsible for cleaning the car park. It is owned by the DRD who confirmed that the private firm NSL of Birmingham administered it via parking attendants.

A DRD Roads Service spokesperson said: “ Due to a temporary change in staffing last week, Meadow Lane West car park was cleaned later in the day when it was partially filled with cars. This meant litter under parked cars could not be reached. NSL Services Ltd are currently responsible for cleaning the car park and do so on a daily basis. The early morning clean-up operation will resume next week.”

A spokeswoman for Craigavon Borough Council stressed how it spends about £1 million cleaning the streets of Craigavon.

“Council takes a zero tolerance on littering with our litter wardens working both evenings and weekends.

“In this financial year council has issued 831 fixed penalty fines to people on littering - the highest in NI outside of Belfast. Council is actively targeting car parks at Meadow Lane, Marley Street, Foundry Street, High Street Mall, Fairgreen and Magowan West recently and in one night alone issued 12 fixed penalty notices to those littering. We also proactively work with community groups and schools on community clean ups and how to prevent littering in the first instance. We’re also in the process of giving out 10,000 free stub tidy’s, a small sized pouch that people can use to dispose of their cigarette litter as an alternative to bins or indeed the grounds. However the fight again litter is a constant battle with substantial resource issues.”

How bad is our litter problem? Text us your views to 84555, starting your message with PTTEXT and then a space.