Councillor Cadogan Enright condemned the consultation exercise from the Roads Service on having a one-way system around Downpatrick clockwise from Market Street, Irish Street, Stream Street and St Patrick’s Avenue. This consultation is based on the partial one-way system in Market Street that so badly disrupted the town this year.
Cllr Enright said “Following the economic damage done to businesses in the Market Street area by this experiment and the huge congestion that resulted around the town over the summer, it is clear that the roads service must know that no other answer other than a resounding “NO” is possible from this consultation exercise. Thus one can only conclude that they are conducting this survey at this time in order to achieve a negative result. The consultation is a sham”
Cadogan Enright said “Given ‘normal’ ongoing congestion in Downpatrick from the Belfast Road to Ballyduggan during the day or around major events like race-days at weekends, this is not a helpful exercise by the Roads Service and a real consultation is needed. Several obvious solutions would present themselves if the Roads Service did a genuine consultation.”
Cllr Enright pointed out “Firstly the derelict buildings beside the police station offer the possibility of a one-way system in the town centre with the Irish Street/Market Street car park at its centre. Thus not only relieving congestion for private and public transport but also bringing trade into the town, revitalising the rear of shops on Market Street and with many more parking spaces around the shops in the centre of the town.
“Secondly, such a one-way system could be connected to the often talked about and long-delayed road though the Saul Street car-park at the back of Scotch Street into Irish Street thus relieving pressure on the Irish Street/Church Street corner.”
“Thirdly, the derelict building at the foot of St Patrick’s Avenue could be demolished and a roundabout put in at this point freeing up tailbacks down the Ballyduggan Road. Other choke-points exist around the town. How many people have been stuck in the Asda car-park of an evening? Surely an exit past the railway station for people heading North and East would relieve the pressure?”
“The Roads Service cannot be engaged in a genuine consultation exercise at this time, and the question needs to be asked, why not?” concluded Councillor Cadogan Enright.