Councillors Cadogan Enright and Robert Burgess are threatening prosecutions on people who park up at Down Railway in the evenings and throw out fast food wrappings and drink cartons at one of Downs premier tourist attractions.
Cllr Burgess said “This problem is reaching epidemic proportions, and even though this area is cleaned in the mornings, it is back dirty again by evening. Down Railway is one of our key Tourist attractions and is being expanded and improved with help from the Council and other agencies.”
Cllr Enright agreed and said “Dumpers need to beware from now on. This location is now not only on the list for random checking on a daily basis by our enforcement officers, but will also be the subject of joint night-time patrols and monitoring by the PSNI and Environmental officers. Offenders will expect to pay £80 as a minimum, and prosecution though the court is also open to us. This dumping is going to stop.”
“There is going to be a crack-down”, said Cllr Burgess, “offenders will not be hard to trace as we will have their car registration numbers, so I would urge anyone who is thinking of driving into Downpatrick for a takeaway – to keep their rubbish until they get home or use one of the many Council-provided bins around the town”.
The Council, railway volunteers, the lottery and many government agencies have worked to deliver what is N.Irelands only working heritage railway. It has greatly expanded in the last year, with a huge new carriage museum, workshops and is in the throes of re-laying much of its existing tracks before its next big event on St Patricks day. This will make room for rapid expansion at a later date. A new entrance area is also being constructed to what is a working museum, and one of the jewels of Downpatrick.
Both Councillors help out at the railway on a volunteer basis, they invited people of all ages to volunteer – saying that there are a wide range of skills required from manual labour, operating heavy machinery, carpentry, engineering, administration, on the internet and in the museums and shop. There are 13 different teams of people working away throughout the week, and there were roles for people of every age and ability. See www.downrail.co.uk/join.htm