‘Doagh village is still open for business’

The Station Road will be closed until the end of the month. Pic by Google.
The Station Road will be closed until the end of the month. Pic by Google.

Traders in Doagh have issued a rallying call as footfall continues to slump in the village during a period of works in the Station Road area.

Businesses have experienced a reduction in the number of customers coming to them since a section of the road was closed to allow for repairs to a bridge on August 5.

The carriageway is set to be closed to motorists continuously until 6pm on August 30.

Bar manager at McConnells Bar, Tyler McConnell said he believed the signs had been misleading for patrons and residents.

Speaking to the Times, Mr McConnell said: “During the first week of the closure it wasn’t too bad. People weren’t aware of the closure and were following the diversions when they saw the road was closed.

“The signs were a bit misleading and a lot of people weren’t sure if the closure would be continuous or would stop in the evening to allow traffic to come through the village.

“It has been terrible this week. We noticed a reduction in custom over Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I know the bridge needs sorted so we have to grit our teeth and get on with it. Touch wood it is back to normal at the end of the month.”

Manager at Doagh Filling Station, Jacqueline Robinson said footfall has been noticeably down since the closure commenced.

She said: “There was no notification the road was going to be closed like this. The business didn’t get any correspondence. I’m a Station Road resident and I didn’t receive anything either.

“One positive is that the schools are off as traffic issues would have been a lot worse during term time.”

Ms Robinson added: “It would have been better for the traders if signs had been erected to say there was still access to the businesses. Business has been really down during the works.

“We have a Post Office and pensioners rely on it for their pensions. The road closure has been very inconvenient for a lot of older residents.”

Urging residents to support the traders during the period of works, DUP Cllr Jeannie Archibald said: “Following the neighbourhood notifications, a number of traders contacted me concerned about the effect the closure would have on business.

“The roadworks are definitely causing major build ups in both Parkgate and Ballyclare. As inconvenient as it is, the works to the bridge are vital to ensure safety so we must be patient.

“I want to remind everyone that all businesses in Doagh are still open and encourage people to support them during the closure.”