Boy racers who gather near The Falkirk Wheel for monthly meet-ups have driven a pensioner to the breaking point.
Things have gotten so out of hand at the car park of the tourist attraction, the 70-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, says her health has suffered as she now takes anti-depressants and sleeping tablets just to cope.
The Camelon resident claims one boy racer told her she risked having her head “kicked in” after she complained about the behaviour of those in attendance, which she says has included public urination and littering.
Although the pensioner and her neighbours — along with others in Bonnybridge — have made their feelings known to Falkirk Council and asked for a barrier to be put in place, the car park remains open late at night, meaning the Falkirk Cruise meetings still go ahead on the first Thursday of the month. It’s an issue which, according to the resident, has been regularly complained of to the local authority for at least five years.
She said: “I believe in fun but this isn’t fun because neither me nor my grandchildren can sleep.
“They’ve got me on anti-depressants and sleeping tablets and that’s ludicrous. It’s not only cars, there are motorbikes as well and they race and screech round the roundabout there. It’s a pretty area but they’re ruining it.”
She added: “We’ve had them doing the toilet outside our house when there are kids next door.
“This can go on until 2.30am and there were nearly 200 cars down there on Thursday. People from Camelon, Bonnybridge and the Boardwalk restaurant have complained. Everybody is fed up with it.”
Police say they are continuing to monitor the situation.
Chief Inspector Chris Stewart said: “Officers patrol this area on a regular basis and will take appropriate enforcement action if any offences are detected.
“This includes road traffic offences and the use of anti-social behaviour legislation specific to vehicles. We are aware the local authority is exploring the implementation of a Temporary Prohibition of Traffic Order which will limit the use of the car park at certain times. Should this be implemented, we will take appropriate action if the order is breached.”
Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “I’ve supported the calls for a barrier to be erected but, much to my disappointment, the council has so far resisted this move. Instead, I’ve been assured that an experimental Prohibition Traffic Order sign would be erected at the car park, which would allow police to take proactive action, however, unfortunately this signage hasn’t been put up as yet.
“I share residents’ frustration that this ongoing problem hasn’t been dealt with satisfactorily and will keep making the case for a barrier at the site as I believe it’s the most effective way to end this totally unacceptable anti-social behaviour and the associated noise and environmental pollution.”
The council says installing a barrier isn’t feasible, however, signs will soon be in place.
A spokesman said: “A barrier would not be practical to deal with anti-social behaviour as there may be vehicles in the car park after the barrier is closed who wish to leave.
“The new signage will prohibit vehicles from entering the car park between 9pm and 6am. To be enforceable the sign requires to be lit and this has resulted in a delay. It is expected the sign will be erected within the next four to six weeks.”