MOTORISTS in Enniskillen are set for yet another period of gridlock as more roadworks are scheduled for the Sligo Road – this time to accommodate new cycle paths.
The latest roadworks will see the addition of a shared footway and cycle path for approximately 500m along the Sligo Road between Henry Street and the Waterways Ireland Building. The works is estimated to cost around £120,000.
Earliest this year, works on the road have caused havoc for motorists in Enniskillen as traffic came to a standstill in August. Motorists were stuck in gridlock for up to an hour at times, with local businesses losing out on trade.
At a special Council meeting last Monday, councillors were given a presentation from the Department of Infrastructure road officials outlining the proposal for the road.
Local Councillor Keith Elliott questioned whether there would be disruption to traffic on the Sligo Road while the work is being carried out and the impact that this will have on the businesses on the Sligo Road.
A representative from the Department of Infrastructure said, “ Unfortunately with the Sligo Road being one of the main arteries routes in Enniskillen, there will have to be disruption. I know there was previous road surfacing done during this year which caused a lot of turmoil but for health and safety you can’t do a cycle lane without having lane closure and disruption. It will be operated under restricted hours, 9.30am to 4.30pm.”
Mary Flynn, of Flynn flooring and tiles is outraged that her business is facing disruption for the third time in a matter of months.
“It is an absolute nightmare for us, we might as well close our doors when that road is closed. There was no business when the Sligo Road was closed before. It is not a good start to the new year for us, we might as well close up while this is ongoing. All the businesses on this side of the road will be impacted. Nobody has notified us about this, and they did not notify us on the other occasions either.”
Similarly, a cycle path will also be added on the Lough Yoan Road from Killyhevlin Demesne to South West College to provide a safer environment for both pedestrians and cyclists. These works will provide 400m of a footway and cycleway thereby providing a continuous link to the local footway network. The total cost of the works is estimated at £120,000.