Boy racers spark Haugh tourism fears

Boy racers who are using the Common Haugh as a race track could be putting the camper van initiative at risk.

Monday night’s Community Council meeting heard that vanners who visited the town recently had their stay blighted by the young drivers and when they contacted the police they were told no one was available to attend the scene but were advised to collect registration numbers.

And this, according to council chairperson Marion Short, isn’t good enough.

Speaking this week, she said: “I am particularly concerned about this behaviour which I am being told is a regular occurrence. I was approached by [Welcome Host co-ordinator] Jack Yallop who told me that he had received complaints from folk who were staying in the Haugh. It’s just not good enough for the police to ask people who are visiting the town to start collecting registration numbers. This is a police issue not one for members of the public to deal with.”

“This is not going to encourage folk to stop off overnight if they are having to put up with this. I was told that at one point 14 young lads had gathered there in their cars. It really is a shame if this is allowed to continue.”

Attending the meeting, PC Stuart Hogg admitted that he can hear the “boy racers” from his west-end home but said he was unaware of the incident in question but that he would pass the concerns to his colleagues.

Council member French Wight said: “They were there on Thursday night, driving around at about 40 miles per hour. It is dangerous for everyone.”

Community councillor Jim Little added: “It’s ridiculous. They are a bunch of idiots. They treat the Haugh like Brands Hatch and they appear to get away with it. They need fined.

“Fine them £60 and make an example of a few of them and it won’t be long in stopping. I can also hear them from my house. It is ridiculous. And to be honest, I am surprised the police can’t hear them.”

Community councillor Rob Brydon added: “Take their cars off them. That’ll stop them.”

PC Hogg added that police had the powers to confiscate vehicles from drivers with previous driving-related antisocial driving convictions.

Mr Yallop said: “This is very annoying. I am worried that people get put off if they hear about this problem. We have been busy with vans and the other night we had three French visitors who actually found out about us in a French book which was published in their own country which is fantastic.

“We have spaces for six camper vans in the Common Haugh and it is getting busier.

“It really is a good facility. It is popular and it brings a lot of visitors to Hawick from all over the UK.”