The eyesore that says welcome to Banbridge!

PEOPLE visiting Banbridge from across the border are being greeted by an unsightly first impression of the town.

Monday, 1st March 2010, 12:54 pm
Updated Friday, 5th March 2010, 3:00 pm

That’s according to a report by the Director of Environmental Services, which noted that the first roundabout cross-border visitors see as they enter the district gives a “poor image” of the town because of its “unkempt nature”.

The council has unanimously agreed to seek sponsorship from local businesses for the upkeep of the roundabout at the Newry Road, adjacent to the FE McWilliam Gallery.

Councillor Joan Baird said some responsibility should be taken for ensuring the roundabout is maintained properly.

“As has been done in many areas we are going to put out for sponsorship for the roundabout,” she said.

“Unfortunately the DRD don’t have the wherewithal to look after these roundabouts. They insist on us building the roundabouts but they want us to maintain them.

“Some form of coloured shrubbery would be appropriate to keep them in order.

“We want to keep our entrances to the town and throughout the district tidy and welcoming for people.

“I hope somebody does take up this opportunity to contribute to the image of the town.”

The roundabout at the Newry Road also creates a poor impression of the nearby award-winning F E McWilliam Studio and Gallery, the report states.

Jason Diamond, Tourist Information Officer at the Gallery, said the roundabout is in the perfect location to display local artwork.

“The roundabout is really the first tourist office for people coming into the town, especially from across the border,” he said.

“We would definitely welcome a general tidy-up of the roundabout and would love at some stage in the future to see something tying in with the gallery here in the form of artwork or sculptures.”