Work on South Main Street nearly finished
AFTER months of disruption to trade at South Main Street, the construction work is now entering its final phase. Retailers this week spoke about how they feel the street's 'new look' will boost business at this end of the town.
In recent months the old footpaths have been replaced with new wider ones and the road has been completely resurfaced.
Although the construction work did at times cause disruption to trade, local retailers have this week commended the project.
'An investment in the future of the South Main Street' is how one retailer described the construction work, which has been ongoing since January.
Andy Doyle, owner of Bugler Doyle's Bar and B&B, described the disturbance as 'a very small price to pay' for the end result.
Mr Doyle said that whilst the work was taking place outside his premises he noted a 20 to 25 per cent drop in takings in his off licence, which he attributed to the traffic disruption.
' This was a bit of an inconvenience, but a little bit of suffering was worth it', he said.
Mr Doyle also said he believed this end of the town had been neglected for a long time but this work would change all of that.
When the project was still in its planning stages, Mr Doyle submitted a proposal to the Borough Council to have the footpath outside his pub widened to facilitate outdoor seating.
This request was granted on the condition that he maintain the area. He is delighted with the finished product and has redecorated the front of the bar to ensure it fits in with the new look of the street.
On the other side of the street, Des O'Neill of Hayes Cycles had similar praise for the project.
He commented on the positive feedback he has received from tourists who visit his shop to hire bikes and fishing equipment. ' They are all saying how well the street looks,' he said.
When asked had the work affected his daily trade, Mr O'Neill said that 'naturally it's been disruptive, but these things have to be done'.
Retailers on the street praised the the team of construction workers who were assigned to the project for their flexibility in trying to accommodate the business owners as best they could.
The work, which is now in the final stages, is due to be completed ahead of the first weekend in September, when a street party has been arranged to celebrate the street's new look.