Fears rise over dangers posed by scramblers

The ecos centre. (Editorial Image).

The ecos centre. (Editorial Image).

Youths on scrambler bikes are putting lives in danger as they tear along paths in the vicinity of the Ecos Park and nearby Ballykeel, it has been claimed.

And now a local assemblyman has pleaded with the youths to learn from the tragedy of Valerie Armstrong who died after being hit by a scrambler in the Colin Glen Forest Park.

Paul Frew, the DUP Assemblyman for North Antrim, joined with local councillor, Reuban Glover to urge the youths to consider the potential for devastation their actions could cause.

Mr. Frew said: “For the last two years we have had meetings with officials from Council, PSNI, PCSP, Education Authority and the local community. Police have increased their presence in the area at times and while EA have installed a fence at great expense around the land they own, they have left a gap which accommodates mobility scooters hence allowing the scramblers though - making it a very expensive folly.

“The potential for injury or even loss of life to residents or even pedestrians and runners who enjoy the Ecos centre is great. It is only a matter of days since Mrs Valerie Armstrong died after being hit by a scrambler in Colin Glen Forest Park whilst walking her dog and yet this activity continues in Ballykeel unabated.“

Cllr Glover added: “ The people using the scramblers are speeding on roads and footpaths populated by young people on tricycles and elderly people making their way home from the shops.”

Frew concluded: “ Residents are sick to the point they have stopped reporting this to the police. I would appeal to PSNI to increase their presence further and be more proactive in getting this activity stopped.

“I would also ask the EA to consider further measures to ensure scramblers cannot gain access to their land and the Ecos park through a quiet residential area.

“More importantly I would appeal to the people doing this , think about your actions and the consequences for you and the people whose life you could destroy.”