More misery for motorists as Newry Road is dug up once again

Thursday, 6 July 2017

More misery for motorists as Newry Road is dug up once again thumbnailNewry Road Armagh

THERE is more misery in store for motorists, business owners and residents of the Newry Road in Armagh as contractors prepare to dig the road up once again.

Just a matter of months after the road was dug up to enable major improvement works to the city's sewerage system the diggers returned on Monday (July 3) for a month-long operation to lay gas mains.

The work is being carried out by Firmus Energy who say they have already engaged with local residents, political representatives and businesses on their plans to extend the network.

Ciaran Brennan, Project Engineer for firmus energy said: "As a result of local interest, these works are necessary to progress the extension of our gas network. It will allow us to bring the cost and environmental benefits of this energy source to more homes and businesses in the area. This stage of work will immediately bring gas to 373 properties whilst extending the network further to a potential 905 properties in Armagh City and to a further potential 1000 properties in Markethill Town.

"We have engaged extensively with Transport NI, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and other utility providers and agreed a traffic management plan for the duration of the work to minimise disruption to residents, businesses and road users".

The construction work will conclude no later than 28th July and will involve the closure of only one traffic lane on the Newry Road (inward bound). There will be a Stop & Go traffic management system at peak times in the morning and evening and traffic lights system at all other times. There are no road diversions needed during the duration of the work.

At last Monday night's ABC council meeting councillors were in broad agreement that this was a good scheme but they also voiced their concern that the Newry Road was to be dug up again so soon after the work to the sewerage system.

Councillors Garath Keating, Sam Nicholson, Fred Donnelly and Jim Speers all expressed concern about contractors returning to this part of the city so soon after the previous works.

"It is four weeks work and while it has to happen I hope it can be carried out in a quick and efficient manner," said Alderman Jim Speers.

Councillor Garath Keating called for council to adopt a more proactive approach to consulting with public and private utilities firms.

"It's not always practical but we need a more joined up approach with these schemes. When schemes are on the horizon we need to be able to work out a strategy to minimise disruption." Deputy Lord Mayor, Sam Nicholson said more work needs to be done so these projects can be more joined up in an effort to reduce the number of times a road has to be dug up.

"I know Firmus is a good company and I urge them to carry out this weork as efficiently as possible," he said.

Alderman Freda Donnelly called for timetables to be agreed well in advance of work starting so that projects could take place in a more joined-up manner.

"This a good scheme but I am very concerned that the road is being dug up once again." Meanwhile Firmus Energy's Ciaran Brennan stated all local businesses will continue to trade as normal and assued them that access will be maintained at all times "Our work will commence outside Armagh Golf Club, proceed up the Newry Road and end at the junction with Cavanacaw Road. We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience caused and we will continue to work with all the appropriate authorities and make every effort to ensure that any disruption is kept to an absolute minimum." Should you have any questions or concerns on the upcoming construction works, please contact the firmus energy customer careline on 0800 032 4567.


Subscribe to read full newspaper »

Send to a friend

Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.

In order to process your information we must ask you to enter the letters in the image into the box:

CAPTCHA Image play audio version Reload Image

* Mandatory field - please complete