Town needs parking

LIFE in Lurgan town centre should be disrupted as little as possible during the second phase of the Public Realm Works, local councillors have said.

The latest phase of the scheme is expected to begin in High Street in the Spring.

At Monday night’s meeting of Craigavon Borough Council, local representatives expressed concerns that lack of parking would pose a problem while the work is carried out.

“Parking in the town centre is a big issue for people,” said DUP councillor Carla Lockhart.

“It was an issue during the last phase of the public realm works and it could arise again.

“We need to ensure we retain parking in the town, particularly in the High Street area, where we have been lobbied by local traders.”

Sinn Fein’s Cllr Johnny McGibbon agreed, but pointed out that Edward Street and William Street were also areas of concern.

“There is a view across the board that parking is going to be an issue again,” said Cllr McGibbon.

“However, it should be noted that there are similar issues in Edward Street and William Street.

“They are all busy trading areas. However, they are facing the same difficulties that traders elsewhere in the town centre are experiencing at the minute.

“They are struggling under a tight climate and we want to continue working with them, so I would echo the concerns about parking in these streets as well.”

The first phase of the Public Realm Works, which began in 2010, met with a large number of complaints from Lurgan folk, many of whom felt the scheme was not well enough planned.

Traffic jams and lack of parking spaces was the main gripe with motorists during the building work, which lasted a number of months.