Public Realm works called a ‘nightmare’

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Traders at Rathfriland Street are only too glad to see the back of the public realm works - which one described as a ‘nightmare’.

Indeed one trader has been incensed by the publicity surrounding the completion of the works, asking why the Minsister did not vist the area before the works were completed.

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland visited Banbridge to view the completion of works last week.

The scheme was aimed at enhancing the busy commercial area with links to the refurbished Solitude Park.

While glad the work is now complete the trader felt it should have been carried out years ago when he and others requested it.

He also said that the repeat digging up of the same sections of the road had been “inconvenient” and at times it had been a “nightmare” for customers trying to access local businesses.

The trader also questioned the timing of Mr McCausland’s visit: “Why didn’t he come up to the area before the works were carried out? He visits now it’s all clean and tidy and gets his photo in the paper.”

Responding to the criticisms a DSD spokesman said: “The Minister is disappointed this solitary complaint has been voiced despite the level of investment in what is a key area of Banbridge town centre.

“Banbridge Council have received extremely positive feedback in relation to the work and this one anonymous complaint will not detract from what has been a significant project in the heart of the town.

“The Rathfriland Street Public Realm scheme was completed by Banbridge District Council, at the request of local traders. The traders were kept fully informed of the work being carried out, throughout all stages of the project and all efforts were made to accommodate traders and keep disruption to a minimum throughout the construction phase of the project.”