Downpatrick Councillor Cadogan Enright has angrily hit out at what he described as ‘serious errors’ in the manner in which the upgrade at the junction of St. Patrick’s Avenue and Market Street is being handled.

“Local people and traders have been complaining for weeks now that traffic has been backed up the circular road to Collin’s corner and back to the cinema. Commuters have been particularly badly affected. There appears to be no air of urgency in getting the feeder lane back in operation despite pressure on the project managers and complaints to council management. The people of Downpatrick and District are being taken for granted, and the ability of traders in the town to make a living damaged once again.” Said Cllr Enright

Julia Gill of the Health Shop on St. Patrick’s Avenue said “the effect on trade in the town is as bad as the one-way system a few months ago. People can’t be bothered coming into the town, or are parking at the cinema and walking into the town.”

Cadogan Enright pointed out that he had attempted to have this corner compulsorily acquired to improve traffic flow and to ensure that improvements do not have to be redone at a future date.

“However I did not receive the support needed for this from all of the other local councillors, and the site continues to lie derelict. Some councillors were persuaded that the cost of acquisition would be too high – but property prices have collapsed and this is the right time to acquire key derelict sites that can help us improve Downpatrick. Too many councillors are happy with the ‘status quo’ and resist change.”

Cllr Enright added “The wall of the site is about to topple onto pedestrians on St. Patrick’s Avenue and I have taken photographs of the problem and given them to the ‘dangerous buildings’ section in Council and requested that they urgently repair the wall before someone gets killed. A retired engineer has confirmed to me that this wall is about to topple. Hundreds of people, including small children pass this wall each day. I have asked for urgent action.”

“It is clear that council management have learned nothing from the experience of letting the work on Market Street linger on too long last Autumn, disrupting Market Street for week longer than was necessary. The new incoming council needs a change of leadership as the attitude of taking the people of this district for granted needs to change.” Concluded Cllr Cadogan Enright.