A Derry community worker has warned that the massive new amenity centre in Derry will add to the traffic congestion in the Buncrana Road area.
Tommy Mullan from Galliagh Residents’ Association said the new recycling hub is now the only facility of its kind in the cityside following the closure of the Brandywell Amenity Centre.
Mr. Mullan questioned why another cityside location for this major facility was not examined, given the problems presently facing motorists in the Buncrana Road area.
Following a major programme of works, the new Recycling and Amenity Centre in Pennyburn opened to the public yesterday. The facility is four times the size of the original facility, and the recycling centre has been closed for more than a month to allow for the final phase of the £1.5m upgrade.
The Brandywell Centre is due to close this week with the space being used to make way for a new play park.
Mr Mullan told the Journal: “What I am saying is, take the Buncrana Road from 8.30am and look at the traffic situation there. It is already gridlock.
“Now what they are saying is that on top of all those who use Pennyburn, everybody from Creggan, the Brandywell, Bogside, Rosemount will also now have to go to Pennyburn.
“I don’t know what they are thinking. If you have a look at that area, some days the traffic is away up Strand Road just trying to get on to the Buncrana Road. On the Buncrana Road you could be sitting there God knows how long. It’s congested big time.
“How did they come to this decision? Were ratepayers consulted on this? Was there a traffic assessment? There’s a church here, schools in the area, businesses, and this is a main arterial route for Donegal.
“What they should have done is opened another location. This is now the only dump for the cityside.
“My concern is some people might now start dumping illegally onto the roads and that will cost the Council more money.”
A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane District Council responded that the new “state of the art recycling centre would provide a valuable range of enhanced recycling services” for local people.
She said: “The facility’s capacity will increase fourfold and overall the services will be more accessible, safer and more user friendly.
“A full traffic impact assessment has recently been carried out in the Pennyburn area, which has seen the introduction of a new traffic lights system geared towards alleviating congestion issues. Ongoing plans to improve the road network in the area continue to be progressed by the Department for Infrastructure.”
She added: “Council will continue to monitor the flow of users to the new recycling facility and we will continue to liaise with the department regarding any increases to traffic volumes in the area.
“ We are delighted at the progress of the work so far at the new facility and we are confident that the public will be impressed by the new range of services at the centre.”