Portstewart came to a standstill on Sunday (August 30th) evening amidst a car cruise with Police putting in place a temporarily roads closure at the popular seaside town.
The bank holiday weekend brought with it increased traffic, as visitors descended on the coastal towns and attractions of the North Coast, increasing congestion.
This was exacerbate by the numbers of vehicles and their passengers attending a car cruise, with a number of antisocial scenes being described by ‘disgraceful’ and ‘appalling’.
The busy Portstewart promenade was brought to a standstill forcing police to close the road to elevate the situation, a decision which didn’t sit well with South Antrim MLA, David Clarke, who was visiting the seaside town at the time.
Taking to social media, Mr Clarke wrote: ‘Bizarre Police tactics in Portstewart. Closed the whole town to cars this eve during the bank holiday weekend causing traffic mayhem in residential backstreets & leaving struggling businesses empty for no apparent reason.’
The PSNI have been approached for comment on their presence on Sunday evening, which we await a reply.
Locals praised the PSNI for their actions with one saying; ‘good for the Police car too many cars revving engines polluting the prom with fumes’ whilst another wrote; ‘I‘m sure there was good reason. Portstewart has been packed through the summer and I know plenty who turned around as there was no where to park. Suspect PSNI is limiting parking to reduce crowds and lack of social distancing. plus most likely abuse of licensing and PPE rules’.
Another said replying directly to the MLA, challenging Mr Clarke on his tweet:
‘Leaving struggling businesses empty? Why, are there businesses that only serve you if your in a vehicle? Stop the staring, its quite clear why it’s been done. To stop little boy racers with nothin better to do on a Sunday night doing 10 laps of the prom’.
A number of videos have since appear overnight and throughout Monday, showing a large number of vehicles on the car cruise around the small costal town, including scenes of antisocial behaviour as police struggled to take control.
HOWEVER not everyone was happy saying: ‘Its a bit late to be finally sorting this mess when locals have been tormented for months now with crowds climbing over each other to get in’.