Derry roadworks halted for Christmas

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard.

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard.

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A Christmas embargo is to be placed on all nonessential roadworks across main routes in Derry and Strabane from next week, Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has confirmed.

The embargo will run from next Monday, November 28 to January 3, 2017, and Mr Hazzard said: “As towns and cities across the north prepare for the busy Christmas period, I am keen to do what I can to support local businesses and assist shoppers.

“The recent changes in the exchange rate means we will have more people coming North to shop and it is vital that traffic flow around the commercial centres is maintained during rush hour over the Christmas period.”

The Minister has also welcomed a number of public transport fare reductions for the areas. He said: “Jointly, my Department and Translink have developed a range of public transport fare reductions to help traffic flows at this busy time of the year.”

Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway said: “We want to encourage more people to enjoy the convenience of public transport whether it’s for shopping, socialising or just soaking up the special atmosphere at this busy time of year.”

Mayor of Derry & Strabane Hilary McClintock, welcomed the announcement. She said: “I am delighted that the Minister has taken action to ensure that our shops and businesses remain accessible to all over the Christmas period.

“These are challenging economic times and shops already face a huge amount of competition from online traders. Any measures which bring more shoppers into our commercial centres where they can support local business are to be welcomed.”