A local businessman has called for a “common sense approach” to the A26 dualling work, saying that the scheme has to take into account local businesses.
Gareth Boyd, who is a director of a business in the complex at Logan’s of Cloughmills, says that although he has been a “vocal supporter and campaigner of the A26” scheme, “ongoing roadworks have caused considerable inconvenience and diminished trade for those businesses along the route”.
Referring to roadworks on March 12th, Mr Boyd said: “I have no doubt that the road will be a fantastic boost to the area when it is finished. It’s been well overdue.
“However, there needs to be some form of common sense from the contractors, FP McCann along with Roads Service. Whoever thought it would be smart to do major work to the road on a busy Saturday is beyond me.
“The road traffic was held back beyond Glarryford and near the Dunloy crossing. This is a matter of principle - it doesn’t help business, but it doesn’t help road users either. Why can’t common sense be used and use off-peaks day or evenings to carry out this miniscule work?
“It’s only going to get harder trading alongside the ongoing road work, but stopping the flow of traffic completely makes it harder, not easier. I call for common sense to prevail and to start doing work on off-peaks day or evenings that cause inconvenience to local businesses and importantly, the road users.”
A spokesperson for DRD said: “The 5 mile (8 kilometre) long A26 dualling scheme between Glarryford and the A44 Drones Road junction represents a £55million investment by the Northern Ireland Executive. Since the start of the works in January 2015 there had been no significant delays as a direct result of the works.
“On Saturday 12 March, BT were carrying out essential maintenance to their existing infrastructure on the A26 in the vicinity of Killagan Rd/Drumadoon Rd Junctions. BAM McCann (A26 Contractor) were monitoring the traffic flows as part of the ongoing construction works and intervened when queue lengths became excessive.
“Unfortunately due the nature of these works the traffic management could not be removed immediately, however BAM McCann worked with BT to minimise the delays.
“The Department will continue to work closely with the contractor to minimise the disruption to the travelling public.”