DOWN Councilor Cadogan Enright has praised local PSNI commander Deidre Bones for showing flexibility and allowing the ‘New Street’ inner relief road in Downpatrick to advance towards the planning and costing stages of the project.
Cllr Enright said “This road is an essential component for reducing congestion in Downpatrick and facilitating a one-way system that would attract the support of local residents and town centre business people alike. Unless we get the Irish Street PSNI station and surrounding area surveyed, the project cannot be costed, so it cannot get onto the list of roads projects for approval”.
“At a meeting with me a fortnight ago, the Roads Service advised me that they felt that they would not get permission from the PSNI to survey the site Thus could not cost the project and advance it to the next stage for some years, until the PSNI move from Irish Street to the Downshire is complete. I am now able to confirm that the PSNI would allow the survey to proceed if they were supplied in advance with the names of the surveyors”, continued Cadogan Enright.
“The Road Service presented local councilors a computerized simulation of the new one-way system in Downpatrick last year, based on ‘New Street’ to be built on the site of the PSNI station in Irish Street and linking to Saint Patrick’s Avenue.”
“This project has a lot of support locally”, pointed out Cllr Enright. “The Downpatrick/Lecale councillors group all supported the ‘New Street’ option. The Business Forum and traders in the town also previously supported this model as it kept business in the town centre while tackling the congestion issue. They had previously opposed the testing of a one-way system via Collins corner which the Roads Service now accept was a mistake, and their latest computer modeling supports this contention.”
“I have asked Council Chief Executive John Dumigan to seek the names of the surveyors at his upcoming meeting with the Roads Service on this and other infrastructure issues around the town. Doing the survey only whene the PSNI station was vacated would add years to the project. If we get them to do the survey and costings this year, it means we could be potentially pushing for this project to be included in next years Road Service budget.” Concluded Cllr Cadogan Enright.