Right turn ban at Edenderry to be ‘permanent’

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The final decision over the traffic scheme in Edenderry will be made soon – and the Portadown Times understands that the right turn ban into Watson Street will be made permanent.

The ban is supported by most road users, politicians and traders – with the exception of Joe Weir’s Motors Factors at the corner of Watson Street and Bridge Street.

The temporary order to stop the right turn came in on force in March - after the old roundabout was removed and the traffic lights system installed. Traffic jams had been described as horrendous, with lines of cars tailed back in all directions.

The DRD caved in to relentless pressure and carried out the simple experiment of blocking off the right turn into Watson Street from the Carrickblacker Road direction, as well as banning the U-turn towards Lurgan. Traffic began flowing freely and there have been few complaints.

Alderman Arnold Hatch initially called for a new, improved roundabout. But now, he admits, the ‘no right turn’ has solved it.

He commented, “The system was a mess, with long queues - especially at peak times - in all directions. At times they were queued back beyond the Killicomaine roundabout, to the Bachelors Walk at Bridge Street and all over the town. It was gridlock.

“Immediately the right turn was blocked off, it was as if someone had waved a magic wand. But there are some problems to be ironed out, with too much traffic using James Street and the Bachelors Walk.”

Trader John Hoy agreed. “The original system was destroying Edenderry,” he said. “It caused traffic and trading chaos, and while a few issues have to be resolved, it’s far better than it was.”

A statement from Joe Weir’s indicated the firm is far from happy with the effect on customers and trade. They are likely to lodge an objection before the six-month consultation runs out in September.

All opinions will then be collated, and it is almost certain that the ‘right turn’ ban will become permanent.