MOTORISTS have been left fuming after roadworks on the Northway and Edenderry area slowed traffic to a snail’s pace this week.
And businesses in the town claim they have been counting the cost as shoppers avoid the town while the roadworks, part of the Asda development, are completed.
Asda is due to open on Monday, November 19 but concerns have also been raised that the new sets of traffic lights, both on the Northway and at Edenderry, will permanently slow traffic flow.
A Thomas Street resident said he was disgusted after it took him 45 minutes on two evenings this week to drive up to Killicomaine, drop off a friend and then return home again. He said, “I left at 5.25pm and wasn’t home until 6.10pm.”
A motorist who contacted the Times found himself stuck in traffic at Edenderry at 11 o’clock on Wednesday morning, which he described as “hardly rush hour time”, while another said the new traffic lights system had created a line of queues at Edenderry roundabout that had never existed before.
A representative for the Chamber of Commerce said traders had reported a detrimental effect on business since the roadworks started. He added, “I would also like to know why part of the Northway, one of the main routes in the area, was partly closed yesterday (Thursday). This type of work should take place at weekends.”
The road was closed between 9.15 and 4.30 from the Seagoe junction to Mill Avenue junction, in the direction of Portadown, with traffic being diverted via Seagoe Road, Bridge Street, Castle Street and Mill Avenue. Craigavon bound traffic was unaffected.
He added, “In the longer term no one knows how the extra traffic lights at the junctions leading into Asda will affect traffic flow. There are more questions than answers at the moment.”
Tracey Jackson, manager of High Street Mall, said the travel disruption had made trading “exceptionally difficult” for shoppers coming from both Northway and Edenderry directions. “It has been making difficult times even more difficult,” she said.
This Sunday, there will be full closure of both lanes of Northway along the stretch from the Seagoe to Mill Avenue junctions, for resurfacing and road markings, lasting from 1pm-6pm.
The final closures will on the same Portadown bound stretch of Northway next Tuesday, November 13, from 7pm until 4.30pm the following day, Wednesday. Road diversions will again be via Seagoe.