Relief for Lurgan traders in North Street as road closed due to INF partial wall closure gets date to reopen
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Businesses held a meeting in Lurgan Town Hall on Wednesday morning to discuss the collapse of a wall on June 6 this year. The landmark building, which is being renovated, suffered a partial wall collapse.
Hairdressers, butchers, green grocers and all traders have been struggling with lower footfall despite North Street being open to pedestrians. There is also free car parking in North Street car park while this situation is on going.
However traders and businesses were greeted with great news at Lurgan Town Hall – that the road would be reopened in both directions on August 25.
It has been a difficult time for traders who have seen a significant reduction in footfall since the building suffered the wall collapse and North Street was closed.
For some businesses such as hairdressers like Pin Up Parlour clients with mobility issues who would normally be brought to the door have been unable to attend for appointments. Junior staff, who rely on walk-ins to boost their income, have also suffered.
Most of the businesses in North Street, one of the busiest trading streets in the town, have put a brave face on it and went the extra mile for their customers.
A representative of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon’s Building Control department said work was advancing well and it was expected a new secure façade would be put around the Irish National Foresters building while work continues and this would facilitate reopening the street to vehicles as well as pedestrians.
Neil Casey, a butcher, said he wanted to get the message across that North Street is open for business. “We are closed for traffic but pedestrians are welcome. It is all open for pedestrians and all the shops are trading as normal. Thanks to everyone who is supporting us and going that extra mile. Anybody that needs help to carry stuff to their cars in the car park we can provide that service. Just ask when you come through the door
Nani from The Kitchen restaurant said he wanted to let everyone know they are open for business as usual. “Thanks very much for your support and I’ll see you soon.”
Claire from Wee Smackers said: “There is free parking in Ulster Street. All the shops are still open.”
Mairead McConville of House of Hair in North Street said: “We just want to let all our customers know that we are open for business and we want to thank everyone for their continued support.”
Alisha Thompson from Selection Boxes said: “We are all still open for business. We have a free car park here at the minute.”
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council said: “Free parking is on offer for shoppers on North Street in Lurgan, as work continues on the Townscape Heritage project!
"A warm welcome awaits those who come along to the town centre street which has been closed to traffic during the renovation of the Irish National Foresters building.
"Traders want to say a big ‘thank you’ to all their loyal customers for their continued support over recent weeks and spreading the word that they are still open for business.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Mary O’Dowd said: “Council officials updated traders on the latest plans to reopen the street to traffic. Instead of inserting a wooden structure to hold up the affected building as originally planned which would have allowed only one side of the road to be opened, a steel structure will now be used. The steel structure will allow both sides of the road to be opened to traffic and it is expected the work will take 4 weeks.
“There is an added urgency to getting this work completed as schools return at the end of the month and North Street is an extremely busy route for school traffic.