Gas works in Enniskillen have been taking place at night this week to avoid disruption to local businesses as a “critical piece of engineering” is carried out.

The work, which has been agreed with Transport NI, is being carried out in Townhall Street during which a road closure has been in place in the Diamond area. A spokeswoman on behalf of SGN Natural Gas said: “A traffic diversion via Regal Pass will be clearly signposted to enable engineering work on the new natural gas pipeline to be completed in an area to the front of the Townhall where the roadway narrows.”

Head of Engineering with SGN Natural Gas, David Butler explained that night works were only undertaken on a short-term basis.

“With significant development work already ongoing in the town centre ahead of the Public Realm Scheme, the option of carrying out the work for approximately five Sundays was also considered. However, working at night with reduced traffic volumes was the preferred option to avoid causing unnecessary disruption to local businesses during busy trading hours.”

Earlier this year the company was asked why it had not carried out the work initially at night. In a statement back in January a spokeswoman said: “There is an added health and safety element to carrying out work in the dark, the development of natural gas infrastructure includes operating heavy machinery and daytime works are the safest way to progress with construction. There is a level of noise from construction work and machinery which could cause unnecessary disruption at night for people living in surrounding streets.

“If we only carried out work at night or on a Sunday, the productivity of our teams would also be unduly affected and it would take longer to complete this scheme than currently scheduled, traffic management plans already agreed for during the day would remain in place. The utility works have been strategically planned on a collaborative basis in advance of the Enniskillen Public Realm Schemem” said the spokeswoman.