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Local shop being hit by continued roadworks

Business is blocked out

By Gráinne Brinkley

THE manager of a West Belfast charity shop says  extensive road and footpath improvement works to the front of the premises has caused a disastrous 90 per cent drop in business.Teresa Ryan-O’Connor, manager of the Action Cancer shop on the Andersonstown Road, was speaking as the third phase of the ongoing £1.4million Andersonstown Road Environment Improvement Scheme continues work on the lay-by and footpath to the front of the shops opposite the Andersonstown Leisure Centre.

Teresa says that since the latest phase got under way, shoppers have been reluctant to negotiate the roadworks outside the shop, causing a massive slump in sales.

Delivery vans, which normally only make deliveries to the front of the shop, have also been affected. Thieves attempted to rob a van after it was parked on open land to the back of the shop.

“We tried to put a positive spin on the whole thing at first as the improvements will really enhance the area, but as the weeks have gone by it has become hugely  damaging to our business,” said Teresa.

“The problems are magnified by the fact that on most days our van cannot get close to the shop to deliver donations or collect items that need to be delivered to customers.”

Teresa, who has been managing the shop since it opened in 2006, appealed for her customers to continue supporting the shop.

“We have raised over £400,000 for Action Cancer thanks to generous donations from customers in the local area,” she said.

“I would like to ask the public to please be patient when our van is on-loading and off-loading and again thank the people of West Belfast for their continued support.”

A spokesperson for the Department For Social Development, which is leading the Andersonstown Road Environment Improvement Scheme, said the third phase of the work is due to be completed next month.

“During the works the existing drainage system in this area was blocked and had even collapsed in places, so the Department, in liaison with DRD Roads Service, had to carry out repairs to ensure that the newly installed surface drains were operating satisfactorily,” said the spokesperson.

“This unforeseen work caused this phase to last much longer than was  envisaged.”

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