Dungannon’s much maligned Public Realm Scheme has sparked further anger over the loss of car parking in the town’s George Street.
Traders are upset about the latest raft of changes, which include plans to build a new footpath along George Street, and effectively reduce the number of car park places available for customers.
Independent Republican Councillor Barry Monteith said that he was dismayed by the move, claiming that traders and stakeholders were previously advised by the Department of Social Development that this would not be the case.
He has suggested that the Mid Ulster Council should write to the department outlining their concerns.
“Although I understand the need for this footpath due to safety concerns for pedestrians having to use the public road, I am concerned generally by any moves that result in less parking spaces in the town”, he said.
Councillor Monteith added that he was opposed to the reduction in car parking spaces across the town centre that has taken place since the implementation of the Public Realm Scheme.
“I don’t think anyone, hand-on-heart, could honestly say that the town is easier to navigate for pedestrians or motorists since the scheme was introduced.
“There needs to be a serious re-think of traffic flow in the town. We have a situation in which new drivers to the town are confused by the layout, as well as drivers familiar with the old traffic flow. This mess will have to be rectified, otherwise the public realm scheme will have been a complete waste of money.”
A total of £4.5m has been earmarked for the Public Realm Schemes in Mid Ulster.