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Street closure ‘comes at a bad time,’ say businesses

TRAFFIC disruption due to a £60,000 road upgrade on Lisnaskea’s Main Street has caused widespread fear among local business owners, with concerns that the new resurfacing has simply came “to the wrong place at the wrong time.”
After businesses were forced to shut-up-shop for a minimum of 12 weeks back in March, many places such as Millar’s coffee shop and restaurant, were only given the green-light to open three weeks ago. 
Speaking on the traffic disruption that has seen a “significant impact” on the amount of people travelling in and out of the town, local business owner Glen Cawley of Millar’s told the Herald, “I don’t know who gives the go-a-head with these road works but common sense may be needed. We have been closed for months and then within just three weeks of reopening and struggling they close off the town, we need all the business we can get. Personally, I think closing the town during business hours was complete madness.
“It’s very important for our customers to be able to shop local, these are still hard times and if you look up Lisnaskea main street you will see a lot of empty buildings. 
“Small business needed help even before Covid-19 from the government and will need extra help now and this isn’t helping anyone.”
Ashley Charles of the ‘Cherrytree Bakery’ assured customers that the town was indeed “open for business” highlighting that local support is needed now more than ever.  
“Businesses are opened on the Main Street even though there is road blocks you can still come through them as it doesn’t effect the guys doing the street. 
“At the end of the day the job has to be done but we’ve been through lockdown and we need the business,” he explained on a video post to social media. 
While the town had been closed for around 350 metres from the junction at Church Lane to the junction at the Castlebalfour Road, from 8am until 6pm on Monday and Tuesday, local Cllr Garbhan McPhillips explained that the impact of this “hasn’t been too bad, thank God.”
He told the Herald, “I was contacted by a few businesses first thing Monday morning and they were worried things were very quiet. 
“Thankfully, when I ventured up the Main Street shortly after that more and more people were about and going about normal business. 
“In recent times we have been here before where parts of Lisnaskea has been closed off and business would have suffered because of that. Our local businesses have been through a very tough time this year already with the pandemic.”
He added, “In Lisnaskea we are very lucky for all the businesses and services we have on our doorstep and in our town.”
 

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA