DUNDALK Chamber of Commerce CEO Bill Tosh has appealed to Dundalk Town Council to reopen the road at Market Square leading to Clanbrassil Street.
Mr Tosh said this week that he has visited a number of stores in the area and insists that they are all suffering a loss of trade since work began on the revamp of the Square.
However, while the road closure has been largely blamed for a drop in trade across the board on Clanbrassil Street, the Chamber of Commerce CEO said he could not see the reason why the road had to be closed on a regular basis.
He said: “I checked with people in the same situation as Damien Donegan in Costcutter like Central News and the butchers who rely on passing trade and the reality is that yes, their takings are down.
“I think we all know that to get some gain there’s going to be a little bit of pain and we accept that but the issue is that we should be minimizing that pain.
“I believe that until the tie in from Earl Street to the Square the road could be open. The provision for access to Clanbrassil Street along Eimear Court is there but it’s actually not great. It’s strangely enough the preferred option by the consultant in the original plan but it was roundly rejected as being impracticle and the retention of the slip road from Market Square was implemented.
“I would appeal to the Town Council to consider that when the contractor does not need that slip road or access to it that he pushes his barriers back and allows traffic flow on that slip road into Clanbrassil Street.
“I am acutely aware there is a job plan and I wouldn’t want them to slow the job down but where possible it should be considered,” said Mr Tosh.
Meanwhile, local TD Peter Fitzpatrick said he had received a commitment from Town Clerk Frank Pentony that the road would open as soon as possible but he admitted that could well be weeks away.
Deputy Fitzpatrick said: “It’s not a simple thing of switching things around. It looks so simple to open up the wee link road but he (Mr Pentony) has told me that the builder plans to dig the road up.
“I can’t see the road being open in the foreseeable future. I think it will take four or five weeks but the Town Clerk has given me a commitment that the street will reopen as soon as possible,” he said.