Rathfriland Road ‘is a racetrack’ say residents

Ulster Unionist representatives Jo-Anne Dobson and Cllr Glenn Barr on the Rathfriland Road highlighting the issue of 'Road Racers'.
Ulster Unionist representatives Jo-Anne Dobson and Cllr Glenn Barr on the Rathfriland Road highlighting the issue of 'Road Racers'.

The number of unmarked PSNI patrols in Banbridge is to increase after residents complained that the Rathfriland Road is being used a race track by boy racers.

Some residents took to social media to highlight the situation in the area and issue a plea for it to stop before someone gets hurt.

On one popular Banbridge social media page, a concerned resident said: “Can you maybe raise the issue of the constant boy racers on the Rathfriland road in the evenings?

“They seem to be constantly able to race up and down without any police action. Last night (Monday) for example, two Honda civics used the area as a race track for over two hours. This isn’t a once off either. Far from it.”

The request to increase the police patrols came from Jo-Anne Dobson, the local Ulster Unionist Assembly Candidate.

Following contact from local residents, she raised the issue with PSNI District Commander Superintendent David Moore.

Mrs Dobson said: “For some time now residents across the town and particularly those living along the Rathfriland Road have been plagued with nuisance drivers who are driving dangerously, noisily and presenting a danger to pedestrians, road users and to themselves.

“Firstly, I encourage those engaging in this irresponsible, dangerous and life-threatening behaviour to think about the consequences, to think about others and to stop immediately. I also encourage anyone who witnesses this unsafe driving to report the vehicles registration number to the PSNI via the 101 non-emergency number. On most evenings cars can be heard racing across town and on a number of recent occasions I have been made aware that pedestrians have been harassed by those responsible.

“Following contact from residents I raised the issue with the PSNI District Commander and welcome his assurance given to me that unmarked patrols will be increased in town in an effort to directly target those responsible.

“This issue must be addressed in Banbridge before we have yet another road death similar to the tragic death of 19 year old Lesley-Ann McCarragher in Armagh last week, again allegedly caused by a road racing.

“I once again call on anyone engaging in this irresponsible and reckless behaviour on our roads to stop and welcome the Police action to catch those responsible. If they do not stop, they must face the full consequences of their activates.”

On social media, Banbridge resident Lynn Kerr labelled the racing a ‘disgrace’.

She said: “Monday night was a disgrace! It went on for two full hours, until after 12am. And the noise of their exhausts were horrendous! They were at it again last night.

“We ended up having to phone the police who said they would ‘come out as soon as they can’. We never saw them. It needs to stop. They are a death trap waiting to happen.

“Stupid little boys who obviously don’t have to get up to go to work the next morning. It’s only a matter of time before a tragedy happens and it will be a poor innocent person that suffers.”