Rail to call halt to unauthorised access

The new trip rail that runs the length of North Loch Road.

The new trip rail that runs the length of North Loch Road.

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A new trip rail barrier around the perimeter of Forfar’s lochside is an “unfortunate” result of unauthorised access, a local councillor has said.

The metal rail, which stands over a foot high, was installed recently by Angus Council and runs the full length of North Loch Road between its junction with Craig O’Loch Road and Turfbeg Road.

An Angus Council spokesman said that the trip rail is the result of “a combination of ongoing planned work comprising of repairs to existing trip rail and the installation of new trip rail barriers.”

While the rail has not been installed to specifically to prevent vehicles driving on to the site beside the Lochside Leisure Centre, it will make get on to it with a vehicle more difficult.

The lochside area, which until now has had an open perimeter, is one of several spots around town targeted in the past by travellers and the local authority has already carried out work including the erection of barriers, digging of ditches and placing of boulders over entrances to ensure no group or person can take vehicles on to them or set up camp.

Forfar councillor Glennis Middleton this week said the move was necessary to ensure the area, which is grassed and at the edge of Forfar Loch Country Park, is safeguarded.

She said: “I think it’s important that the grounds down at the leisure centre are protected from unauthorised vehicles. It’s unfortunate that some individuals have chosen to be on the grass and hopefully this will discourage them.

“I’m frustrated that these things have to be done. However, as long as some choose not to respect open areas of ground, I accept that some action has to be taken.”

Mrs Middleton also said that there has also been a problem on land belonging to the Strangs Mortification Trust on Montrose Road which has also been targeted in the past.

She continued: “There was someone there on a quad bike recently, going round and round, and that has been kept by the trustees for people walking their dogs and children playing. It’s just unacceptable.”