The manager of a Waterside restaurant has criticised the timing of a road resurfacing scheme which he claims has had a negative impact on business in the Dungiven Road area of the city.
Jason McDaid from Icon restaurant was speaking after road resurfacing work began on Dungiven Road yesterday morning.
He criticised Road Service for the way local homeowners and businesses were told about the roadworks and claimed that they had not been given enough time to make alternative arrangements.
“A letter was delivered through doors on Saturday saying that the road would be closed from Monday at 6am until 5.30pm. That did not give us enough time to make arrangements to cope with the disruption and the business suffered as a result,” he said.
The restaurant manager said delivery vehicles were unable to get access to Dungiven Road because of the roadworks. “We were not able to contact supplier in time and because of that the lorries came, saw that they could not get down the street an then left.
“That left us in the situation where we had to go to the cash and carry and get supplies which were more expensive. We also had to send five members of staff home,” he said.
Mr McDaid acknowledged that roadworks need to be carried out but called for more communication with local businesses. “Roadworks happen from time to time but we were not given adequate notification. If we had known in time we culd have made signs to let customers know that it was business as usual and made arrangements with the suppliers.
“We are now in the situation where the road will be reduced to single lane traffic until Thursday and then closed completely on Friday. We don’t like it but we can at least prepare for Friday, we were not able to prepare for Monday morning,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Department for Regional Development said: “A resurfacing scheme is currently underway on part of the Dungiven Road in Derry.
“Residents and businesses in the area were notified by the contractor for the scheme on Friday afternoon through a leaflet drop advising that the road would be closed on Monday 18th and Friday 22nd. February.
“Notification was also posted on the “Trafficwatch” website. We understand that resurfacing work has the potential to cause disruption to businesses, schools and local residents and in order to minimise any potential impact we took advantage of schools closing during the mid-term break to carry out this work. Work is expected to be completed on Friday evening.