- Moyle District Council
- United Kingdom
The high fencing in place along the main jetty area is extreme, unsightly and unwelcoming for the increasing numbers of Ballycastle’s tourists, residents and ferry passengers.
The harbour area used to be a pleasant and open area enjoyed by many, as are many of the other ports along our Causeway Coastal Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Portrush, Portstewart, Ballintoy, Carnlough etc.) If the security concerns are no longer pertinent, then removal of this unnecessary fencing would be in keeping with other recent harbour and seafront improvements carried out by Moyle District Council, enhancing Ballycastle’s otherwise attractive facilities.
The Ferry Terminal, car park and ferry berth are currently in use though not as intensively as planned given the absence of the Campbeltown service as originally intended.
The Terminal building has its own integral security system and the Terminal car park does not need the additional fencing for security. The car park gates are usually left unlocked at night and none of the other local car parks have such exaggerated security fencing.
The extensive fencing has itself become a risk as it does not fulfil its purpose as a deterrent to access. Many people continue to use the jetty for recreational purposes, either for fishing or for swimming and diving, (the latter activities being prohibited anyway due to harbour traffic). The fences are regularly scaled, at significant personal risk. Other young people swim around from the open slipway to gain access to the pier end for recreational purposes.
Instead of proving a deterrent the fences have themselves become causes of risk and ‘policing’ of this practice would be costly and time-consuming, necessary through the year and into the night.
The fencing also imposes a maintenance responsibility on Moyle District Council and parts of the fencing, with loose and falling razor wire, are now in a dangerous state of repair.
The locked gates and security fencing are an extreme and unnecessary inconvenience to ferry crew and passengers alike as crew have to manage the access as well as marshal the boarding and alighting passengers. Any marshalling could be easily achieved with hand height railings alone, some of which are already in place alongside the high fencing.
The locked gates and fencing place a significant and unwarranted restriction on access for boats from Rathlin Island that arrive outside the office hours of Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd. This applies both to ordinary, occasional use by Rathlin residents as well as ‘out of hours’ emergency use.
It is our considered opinion that there would be strong support from many Ballycastle residents for the removal of this fencing, opening up the area again and restoring it for public access.
We therefore request that the need for these Ballycastle harbour security measures be re-considered and that, given the absence of the former, uneconomical, roll-on roll-off Ballycastle - Campbeltown service, the unnecessary fencing be removed and these harbour facilities be restored as a welcoming feature, integral to the rest of the attractive seafront enhancement scheme carried out by Moyle District Council.
We, the undersigned, as a matter of urgency call Moyle District Council to review the overbearing fencing and security at Ballycastle, with a view to removing present infrastructure and replacing it with the bare minimum required.
The Normalize the security fencing at Ballycastle harbour petition to Moyle District Council was written by Michael Cecil and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.