Wilson slams anti-social behaviour on Belfast to Larne railway

Cllr Andrew Wilson.
Cllr Andrew Wilson.

Ulster Unionist councillor Andrew Wilson has condemned anti-social behaviour on the Belfast to Larne railway line.

Cllr. Wilson, a member of the local policing partnership, was speaking after PSNI Carrickfergus reported that train conductors were “so concerned for their safety due to drunken youths” that they had “to stop and hold the train until the youths got off” on Saturday night.

The same evening, police had to be called to disperse a crowd of 50 youths outside McDonald’s in Carrick resulting in the restaurant taking the decision to shut early.

In a statement, Mr. Wilson said: “Following on from the anti-social activity surrounding Carrickfergus train station and the Larne line over the weekend, surely enough is enough.

“Parents and guardians, do you know where your children and young people are at the weekends and what they are getting up to.

“The concern would be that someone gets seriously injured and I am sure that staff and members of the public who use the train or nearby businesses like McDonalds would have been fearful for their own safety.

“I am also aware that a trolley had to be removed from the train tracks. Whoever put this on the tracks is reckless, irresponsible and shows scant regard for the wellbeing of train passengers.

“If a train collided with the trolley, a derailment could have occurred. We need to be clear in our condemnation of the ongoing anti-social activity.

“I would not be surprised if a knock-on consequence of the ongoing behaviour would be that the late train service is temporarily removed with the safety of staff or the public in mind, and this would be unfair on the vast majority of train users who are able to use the service responsibly over the festive season.”

A spokesperson for Translink said: “The safety of our passengers and staff is our top priority.

“We view all incidents of anti-social behaviour as completely unacceptable and we offer a reward of up to £1,000 to anyone prepared to give evidence in court which leads to a successful conviction.

“We work closely with the PSNI to tackle anti-social behaviour. In addition, mobile support units operate across our network to assist front-line staff.”