Local businesses outraged at Enniskillen parking plans

ANGRY business owners have lashed out at the latest road works in Enniskillen, which they say is killing their trade.
Since Monday, September 26, the majority of Quay Lane car park between Belmore Street and Wellington Road has been closed off, with businesses on Belmore Street feeling its impact the most.
The Quay Lane car park project is part of the Enniskillen Public Realm scheme and is aimed at stopping anti-social behaviour – in this case, to stop boy racers from using the car park – and introducing new drainage, street lighting, kerbing, and resurfacing.
Businesses were told that the works would take six weeks to complete, but a sign has been erected at the car park to say that it will instead take 20 weeks, a third of the financial year and leading up to Christmas.
Restricted parking zones have been lifted on Belmore Street since the scheme began too, with cars now parking there for long periods and taking up most available spaces during the day.
Pharmacist Paul Hughes was furious and said that the disruption was affecting those who needed his help most.
“We provide a health service for sick people, elderly people, those with special needs, and mothers with young children – none of these people have access to our business now, because of this,” he said.
“People can’t get access to the pharmacy. I have had to send prescriptions that we would normally give to people to other pharmacies in the town because people who would normally pick them up here can’t get parked.
“On top of that, I’ve had 30-40 requests for me to deliver their medication to them to various places in the town as they can’t get in.
“I’m getting into my car after I finish work at night and spending two to three hours doing deliveries to people who can’t get into the shop to get their prescriptions.”
Fintan O’Doherty of O’Doherty’s Fine Meats was scathing in his criticism of the works being carried out and is considering relocating his butcher’s shop.
“It’s causing serious problems for businesses on Belmore Street. It’s leaving custom impossible as no one can get parked when we are all on our knees [due to the cost of living crisis] and trying desperately to keep our businesses going,” he said.
“The few available parking spaces are being used by people working in the shops around Belmore Street and parking spaces on Belmore Street itself are few and far between. The same cars are parked there all day.”
Mr O’Doherty also believed that the timing of the road works could not have been worse.
“An urgent review is needed on these road works. Even if they were to stagger it and do it in smaller phases, anything is better than this coming up to Christmas. If this continues I’m seriously thinking about relocating the shop.”
New businesses like the Darling Buds Florist have been hit worst of all.
Proprietor Fiona MacKenzie opened the business six weeks ago and custom had been thriving until last Monday when the car park was closed.
“Since it opened, my business had been building week-on-week. Now I’m struggling to cover my costs this week since the car park was closed,” she said.
“None of the businesses were given any notice about planning meetings for this. The first I knew about it was a letter that I received a few weeks before the work started. Over the summer, most nights I have worked late in my shop, and not once did I see any anti-social behaviour like boy racers, none at all.”
Ms MacKenzie also said because of the nature of her business she has a huge waste of produce as flowers will only stay fresh for a certain length of time.
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council maintained that the current works would be finished in six weeks on November 1 and gave their reasons for the works.
“The purpose of the works is to reduce Anti-Social Behaviour in the area, enhance the living situation of those residing in the areas adjacent to the car park, improve the aesthetics of the area aligning them to the recent Public Realm works and improve the accessibility and linkages to Belmore Street and the greater town centre,” a council spokeswoman said.

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


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