News

Fears major road scheme could lead to traffic gridlock

Thursday, 27 July 2017

THERE are fears that a major resurfacing scheme on one of Strabane's main thoroughfares could lead to heavy congestion in and out of the town and cause traffic gridlock.
Local businesses along the route are also uneasy and some have voiced concern that any disruption could potentially impact their businesses.
A 108,000 resurfacing and reconstruction project on the A38 Lifford Road was due to begin on Monday but is now expected to begin in the coming days.
Work is expected to last for several weeks with a forecasted date for completion in early September.
A similar resurfacing scheme on the N14 in Lifford earlier this year caused widespread disruption for commuters on both sides of the border.
The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) says it is putting measures in place to ensure that any interruption will be kept to a minimum.
It says that a two-way traffic flow will be in place with the surfacing taking place at night. It has however conceded that given the scale of the scheme that delays are inevitable and road users have been encouraged to plan ahead.
Andrew Montgomery, owner of Dano's Petshop, admits he is unsure how he will be affected by the planned work but is hopeful there will be little to no disruption.
Speaking yesterday (Tuesday), he said: "There is a bit of concern but as yet the scheme hasn't started. Until they begin we're not sure how it will work out.
"There's never a good time to start roadworks particularly on such a busy road but hopefully it won't be too bad. Obviously there will be a certain degree of disruption but hopefully there won't be a back up of traffic like there was during the roadworks to the Bridgend in the town. We were badly affected by that.
"We'll be open and keeping customers updated on our Facebook page."
Local MLA., Daniel McCrossan, met with road officials on Friday to discuss concerns shared with him by local business owners along the road.
Disruption
He says that whilst the investment in local road infrastructure is to be welcomed, it is important that any disruption is minimised.
"Concerns have been shared with me by business owners along the stretch. The disappointing thing is that Roads Service didn't properly speak with business owners and given them sufficient notice to prepare for these roadworks or at least mentally prepare.
"It is going to cause some form of interruption to businesses generally and commuters coming in and out of Strabane. The meeting that I had on-site with Roads Service provided the reassurance that they are going to work with businesses to ensure that there is minimal to zero interruption to those businesses. There will be access at all times and the road will not close - that was confirmed."
Continued on page 2

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