A WEST Belfast businessman says large-scale roadworks on the Colinglen Road are “killing” his livelihood. Proprietor of the Old Colin Garden Centre, Joe Higgins, told the Andersonstown News that the Department for Regional Development’s Roads Service is carrying out resurfacing work along the road where his business and home are situated and that the commercial impact so far has been “horrendous”.
“Basically myself and residents got notification that roadworks were to be carried out over a period of five weeks – so far it has felt like five years,” said Joe. “We haven’t been given any finish date and the work continues every day with no-one coming into the garden centre.
“I’m open seven days a week and business has just been disastrous. This is our busy time of year here, I specialise in growing hanging baskets and different garden plants. I have a full tunnel of plants in their greenhouse and the tunnel should be half empty,” he said.
“We haven’t potted up any of the other plants as no-one is coming in to buy anything. I appreciate the work needs done, but there hasn’t been any thought given to businesses on this road or for the people who live here getting up and down. I just don’t understand why the roadworks had to start at this time of year. I’ve had two orders turn back because the delivery men couldn’t get up the road.”
Joe said safety signage on the road placed by the Roads Service has also been a problem.
“Down at the Poleglass roundabout it states that the Colinglen Road is closed and to take the diversion by Pond Park – motorists are passing two other garden centres to get to me. A lot of my customers would have been pensioners and are turning back now.”
A spokesperson for the DRD Roads Service said: “Roads Service is currently resurfacing Colinglen Road and apologises for any inconvenience while these improvement works are being carried out. The works will be completed by mid-May.”