Dear Madam - In response to the news item in last week’s paper regarding the traffic chaos resulting from the Johnston Bridges scheme, may I take this opportunity to let your readers know what the Enniskillen Business Partnership is doing to resolve the issue.

Firstly, it is my understanding the funds for this scheme were recently granted, giving the scheme a “rushed” appearance from the outset. The Enniskillen Business Partnership is the only group that represents the business community of our town and, you might think, it would be right and proper that those in the Transport N.I. Department(Roads Service) would have the courtesy to talk to us ahead of this scheme(they didn’t).

If this discussion had taken place, I can assure your readers, who are frustrated by the apalling traffic consequences, that the outcome would have been significantly improved.

Since last week, we have discussed the situation with our own members and subsequently have met with Tom Elliott M.P. and the engineer in charge of the operation to put forward the feelings of our members together with the facts of life since the scheme started.

These facts are general across the varying aspects of business in Enniskillen; 1, Significantly reduced traffic flow, resulting in significant loss of revenue.

2, Empty car parks for the majority of each day.

3, Customer deciding either to avoid Enniskillen or shop elsewhere.

4, Very upset retailers, taxi operators, hairdressers, filling stations, etc, etc.

We have suggested to the contractor and Transport N.I. the following; 1, That a manually controlled Stop/Go shceme be put in place by latest, Monday, July 6. 2, Signage should be adjusted to advise motorists at Cherrymount that this has happened.

3, Working hours for the contractor should be extended so that the scheme can be completed quicker than planned.

4, Wtih these issues in place a controlled two-way traffic flow can be re-instated.

5, The contractor’s holiday week(July 13) should only happen if permanent two-way traffic flow is re-instated for that week.

One thing your readers may not know is that this scheme is planned to continue until the end of October. This is a “refurbishment” scheme not a “strengthening” scheme as was previously stated.

The Enniskillen Business Partnership welcomes all aspects of road improvements that help our town function more effectively, the importance of dialogue between the Department and our group is clearly essential and it is a gross oversight on the Department’s behalf to forget about us.

We are the backbone of business life in Enniskillen and we continue to lobby for our town improvements to secure the future for further growth and a strong business economy in Enniskillen.

Yours faithfully, Jonathan A. Styles Chairman, Enniskillen Business Partnership