THE manager of a Lurgan convenience store has claimed roadworks designed to improve trade in the town are leading to a downturn in her business.
Kathy Adams, manager of the Spar in William Street, said: “The roadworks started outside the shop about five weeks ago. They came to me before they started and said it would take 10 days to two weeks. It’s been going on for five weeks.”
The roadworks are being carried out as part of the Lurgan Public Realm Works Phase Two and largely involve aesthetic improvements to footpaths around the town.
Kathy said she spoken to the foreman on two occasions to find out what was causing the hold up.
She said: “Firstly I was told Roads Service hadn’t decided whether they were going to fix the entrance to the shop as part of the footpath. We’d assumed they weren’t going to.
“Last week we were told Roads Service hadn’t decided where they going to put the street lighting.”
Kathy added: “The roadworks are killing us. The 40-ft lorries can’t get in to make deliveries. Figures show that customer numbers are down 900 on this time last year.
“There are less people using the cash machine as well because it has become so inaccessible due to the roadworks.
“The shop was in continuous growth week on week, year on year until these roadworks started, but they are now on the decline.”
Kathy commented: “We’re an independent business. We employ 48 staff here. Nobody can give us an idea of when the footpath is going to be open again and in the meantime the business is really suffering.”
A council spokesperson said: “Throughout the Public Realm works in Lurgan the contractor is willing to work with all businesses affected to ensure any specific access or servicing requirements are met. A hotline number is up and running - 07810182965 - and council would encourage businesses to use this number to work closely with the contractors to resolve any issues they have as quickly as possible.
“Council facilitated a meeting between the contractor and the representatives from the Spar to try and resolve their issues. The contractor explained that the car parking bays in William Street were being resurfaced on Tuesday, February 19 and would be reopened by the end of the week. He also explained that the footpath would be finished and reopened again early next week.
“The public realm works have been phased to complete sections of roughly 100 metres in length within a maximum of five to six weeks.
“Council would also like to emphasise that the Public Realm works will take place over a limited time period and are confident that businesses and the people using the town will be pleased with the finished result.”