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‘Terrified and intimidated’ Glenrothes business owners call for ban on car meets

Business owners have called for further car meets to be banned.
Business owners have called for further car meets to be banned.

Business owners in Glenrothes are calling for car meets to be banned, fearing they are becoming “prisoners in their own properties”.

Hundreds of motor enthusiasts have descended on the town in recent weeks, from as far as Glasgow, the Borders and Dundee.

On June 12, Eastfield Industrial Estate was turned into a “race track” in the latest unregulated event.

People with businesses on the estate said they were left terrified by the scores of people and fear they will be subjected to more misery if another planned event is allowed to go ahead next month.

Details for gatherings are often shared on social media with ‘postcode drops’ indicating the exact location for the meet often only made public a few hours in advance.

The events can attract hundreds of vehicles with similar gatherings held in Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow in recent months.

Last month, a man needed hospital treatment after being injured at a meet in Dundee’s Kingsway Retail Park.

‘Terrified and intimidated’

One business owner, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal, said they felt “terrified and intimidated” by the large gathering.

Many of the high performance cars performed burn outs, skids and other manoeuvres as hundreds of onlookers watched on.

Several business owners questioned the legality of the gathering, saying the large turn-out had blocked off their premises for several hours.

“It was very intimidating and several of my staff have refused to come back [if there is another meet],” said one owner.

“Cars blocked off access to our property effectively making us prisoners.

“It was disgraceful.

“The noise was so bad that when we called the police we couldn’t be heard as the screeching of the vehicles was so loud.

“I’ve checked with our landlord and the event wasn’t granted permission from the landowner.

“There was also no social distancing, hardly anyone wearing masks and the whole thing was a disaster waiting to happen.”

Police

Police attended the event and spoke to attendees but business owners are calling for more to be done.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 9.40pm on Saturday June 12, police received report of a car meet up at Eastfield Industrial Estate in Glenrothes.

“Officers attended and suitable advice was given.”

A group of tenants of the industrial estate have now called on local politicians to ban a further gathering at Eastfield planned for July.

‘Uncontrolled’

Glenrothes councillor Ross Vettraino said he was now in discussion with police after a number of concerns were raised.

He said: “I’m speaking to officers on how such a seemingly uncontrolled event such as this can take place.

“Several businesses have raised concerns over the large number of people and vehicles that turned up and the lack of any social distancing among the crowd.

“In addition I have also contacted Fife Council’s licencing team to see if a public entertainment licence for future events needs to be applied for.

“Discussions over potential breaches to health and safety legislation are also ongoing.”

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