A City councillor has criticised the lack of communication between NI Water and those traders affected by the newly begun works on the Racecourse Road, a charge which has been rejected by NI Water.
Motorists on the Racecourse Road were yesterday met with traffic diversions as the city bound lane was closed to motorists from the Greenhaw Road junction to the Buncrana Road.
While the conclusion of the Buncrana Road works was welcomed, SDLP Councillor Jimmy Carr said: “I work in one of the retail units along the affected stretch of road, which is now closed for ten days for major works. None of the traders knew this work was going to begin this morning and it is seriously affecting trade. There hasn’t been one customer in our shop all morning.”
Roughly ten businesses are directly affected by the temporary traffic arrangements. Colr Carr said: “The manner in which the road works were begun has been difficult for residents, traders and those motorists taking their children to school. There were almost fist fights on this street this morning as motorists vented their frustration.”
Councillor Carr continued: “Business owners from around the area have been calling on me to voice their frustration at the works, which will have a major impact on their ability to trade effectively.
“Recently I called for rate relief for affected businesses and would continue to do so, though we recognise that even that will not adequately compensate for trade lost.”
A spokesperson for NI Water said: “Signs detailing this work have been in place since January and each trader received a personal visit by NI Water’s local contractor. This same contractor also visited all the businesses on the Racecourse Course within the last two weeks advising them that this work was due to start soon.”
The work is expected to last for three weeks, however, NI Water stated: “We endeavour to finish the work before this. Our ultimate aim is to complete a scheme that will serve the community long after the diggers and workmen have gone.”