Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon MLA has said that a partnership approach is the way forward in dealing with antisocial driving in Portrush and Porstewart.
Minister Mallon was responding to a question from East Londonderry MLA Maurice Bradley during Question Time on Tuesday.
Bradley asked the Minister what discussions she has had with the PSNI in relation to car cruises in the seaside towns of Portrush and Portstewart.
Minister Mallon said: “As the Minister responsible for promoting and improving road safety, I want to work actively with all partners to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. As such, I have regular discussions with the PSNI about road safety, and I am acutely aware of the ongoing road safety concerns relating to car cruises in Portrush and Portstewart.
“I recognise that local residents are extremely concerned about the adverse effects caused by vehicles speeding and from noise pollution in the area. My officials have had discussions with both the PSNI and Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council about those events, and I understand that a further multi-agency meeting is to be arranged.
“Members may also be interested to know that the Department is progressing legislation to extend existing traffic-calming measures on Lansdowne Road in Portrush. That will introduce some additional traffic-calming humps to address some of the concerns about speeding in Portrush.
“The Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) provided technical support during a multi-agency enforcement operation in Portrush and Portstewart on 30 August 2020, which coincided with a recent car cruise event.
“During the operation, police escorted 14 modified cars to Coleraine vehicle test centre, where each vehicle was thoroughly examined by an enforcement officer using the agency’s vehicle test equipment.
“Results from those inspections revealed that 12 vehicles — 85% — were found to be non-compliant with construction and use requirements to varying degrees and that four were found to be in such dangerous condition that they could not continue to be used on a public road.
“Overall, 12 vehicles were subject to immediate prohibition action owing to varying road safety critical defects, with several drivers informed that they would be reported, with a view to prosecution by police.”
Minister Mallon went on: “I know that the Member has been working very hard on the issue locally.
“The police can and do close roads in Portstewart and Portrush when they have concerns about public safety. We need to be clear, however, that that is not really the solution, as we want all drivers to use the road and to have respect for all.
“I can assure him that my officials have attended the multi-agency meetings to date and will engage with all the partner organisations to try to address that issue and local residents’ concerns.”