Business owner hits out over road closure

A MOY business owner has spoken out after the Road Service closed a main road which leads to his business without any warning.

Vivian Connolly, who runs his business on the main Moy/Armagh has hit out at the Roads Service for their ‘complete lack of concern’ for local businesses which operate along that road.

Mr Connolly said that he and the other businesses along that road were not notified that the road would be closed.

He said: “They put up a flashing sign along the road to say that it would be closed between 28th February and 1st March for roadworks. But they closed it on Wednesday past instead, (20th February) They then amended the sign after this, which now seems to suggest the road will be closed for two weeks, from 20th February to 1st March.”

Mr Connolly said he feels like the Roads Service are not trying to make the whole disruption to the businesses any easier for him and other owners.

He said: “They are basically making it very difficult for people to even get down to near our business. The road is completely closed off to traffic coming through.

“I am absolutely outraged by this all. I am paying my rates and losing business because of this road closure and I can’t get a refund on my rates. I am trying to run a business and provide employment as well as pay bills but how can I do this if no-one can get access to my business?”

Speaking to the TIMES on Friday morning, Mr Connolly also spoke of how a PSNI patrol car was also present at the road closure. He said: “There is now a police car parked around 100 yards just before the entrance to my business and I have been told they are there at the request of the DOE. They are turning cars away and refusing entry to the road where my business is. I just don’t understand this.”

“This is not the first time that this road has been closed off which has had an effect on my business. Last June they closed the road for road works for seven weeks, and now this is another two weeks. How am I meant to run a business when people cannot get access to my premises.”

A spokesperson for the PSNI told the TIMES: “I can confirm that there were officers in attendance on the road on Friday morning.

“This was following a report from the Road Service to say that some motorists were breaching the road closure signs and continuing to try and drive through. The police were present at the scene to monitor the situation and divert the traffic from a road safety perspective, as the road is closed for maintenance and diversions are in place.”

A spokesperson for Roads Service said: “We have made every effort to minimise inconvenience to motorists while these works are being undertaken and as a result we have been able to reduce the length of time the lane will close. The one-way closure was expected to start in January and last until mid-March but by managing the works it will start on 20 February and will continue until 1 March.

“The above planned dates are subject to favourable weather conditions and Roads Service will keep the public informed of any change.

“Roads Service has carefully programmed the works operations and traffic management arrangements in order to minimise any inconvenience to the public. However, motorists should be aware that some delays may be expected and that additional time should be allowed when planning any journeys.

Due to the one way closure in the area businesses are advised to use the alternative routes which are signposted.”