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Sunday street closure in Hillsborough angers trader

Ballynahinch Street in Hillsborough on Sunday

Ballynahinch Street in Hillsborough on Sunday

A Hillsborough trader has said his takings were down by a quarter on Sunday when Ballynahinch Street was closed off by NI Water.

Walton McKee, who runs a conveniece shop in the village, said his business had already been affected by the recent power cuts a few weeks ago, and claims he received no notification of the street closure.

Mr McKee said a sign was erected on Friday, just two days before the work to a new sewer was due to take place, not giving him enough time to prepare for the closure.

The street was supposed to be closed from the Ulster Bank premises to the primary school from 7am to 4pm but Mr McKee claims that the street was still closed at 8pm.

“We are the only business on the street that opens all day on Sunday,” he said.

“Sunday is normally a very busy day for us with Sunday newspapers etc.

“Our trade for the day was down quite drastically.

“I had to let a few of my staff go on Sunday morning for them to return at 4pm but the street was still closed in the afternoon.

“The sign indicated that the street would be closed from 7am to 4pm but it was still closed at 8pm.

“We received no letter about the closure, there was no consultation, nothing. Opening on Sunday was a total waste of time.

“Our trade was down easily by a third or a quarter. Sunday would normally be a very busy day for us with Sunday newspapers coming in.”

Local councillor Alexander Redpath spoke of his concern about the street closure.

“I have been in touch with NI Water regarding the closure of Ballynahinch Street in Hillsborough,” he said.

“I am greatly concerned that the advertised closure times do not seem to have been followed and I will be seeking assurances regarding proper consultation with business owners should any further works be necessary.”

A spokesperson for NI Water said that signs had been placed a week before the work took place,

“NI Water can confirm that work to carry out a new sewer connection for a customer was completed on Sunday August 17 on Ballynahinch Street, in Hillsborough,” said a spokesperson for NI Water.

“This work, including the necessary road closure, was planned and agreed with Transport NI.

“Advance warning signs were erected a week before the work was due to commence to inform the public of the road closure and diversion signs were in place prior to the work starting.

“NI Water would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding while we carried out this essential work.”

 

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