Road repairs on back burner

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A Forfar businessman has thanked Angus Council for listening to his concerns, and those of local residents, regarding the proposed closure of South Street in the countdown to Christmas, writes Janet Thomson.

Last week the Dispatch and Herald reported on a meeting called by Umar Sher of 1st Stop 2 Shop in South Street which was attended by representatives of Angus Council’s roads department, residents of Easterbank, South Street and Restenneth Drive, as well as elected members and representatives of Forfar Community Council.

Umar had also organised a petition which received over 200 signatures in two days asking for the road re-surfacing work to be delayed until the spring.

One resident also spoke out against the closure, warning of the impact it would have on Restenneth Drive and Academy Street.

On Friday, Angus Council announced they would, in fact, defer the start of the work until March following requests from the public to reschedule works due to run from December 12 to 23. The resurfacing of the B9128 road from the junction with Swallowcroft to the junction with Academy Street will now take place in March 2012, when the weather is expected to be milder. Residents are being notified by letter of the alteration to the timing of the roadworks. Resurfacing work on Strang Street to the laybys will be undertaken separately.

Welcoming the news last Friday, Umar thanked the council for listening to the local concerns, and for acting on them.

He had expressed fears the closure of the road in the two weeks to Christmas, and the possibility the work could run into the new year if there is bad weather, would cost his business “tens of thousands of pounds.”

The road closure coincided with the opening of his new carry out business which would have to be postponed if the work went ahead.

He said: “This is great news. This will allow the carry out business enough time to be established and we will now open in the second week in December.

“I feel the council did listen to a lot of the issues we raised on Monday. They have gone back and looked at the points we raised to see what else could be done.

“The council officials were very co-operative. I have never had to call on the council before. You always hear bad things about the council, that they never listen. But they have listened to all the concerns that were raised with them and they have been addressed and been resolved in the best way.”