SGN Natural Gas has announced that it is temporarily postponing road works in the Strabane town centre area as planned, to facilitate the busy Christmas trading period.
Construction work to extend the new gas pipeline will be on hold in arterial and town centre routes to minimise disruption during the festive season, effective from Monday 27th November 2017, until Monday 8th January 2018.
Darren Young, Head of Business Development with SGN Natural Gas, explained that it was a pre-planned voluntary arrangement to help ease traffic movement around the town centre during what is traditionally the busiest time of year.
Darren continued: “Putting roadworks on hold for the Christmas period was a forward planning decision we made some time ago in consultation with our key partners and stakeholders and, we hope that shoppers and traders will greatly benefit from this initiative.”
SGN Natural Gas will meanwhile be working in the vicinity of the Health Centre to get to Springhill Park and other areas out of the town centre as scheduled to help ensure natural gas is available early in the new year.
The announcement was warmly welcomed by Martin Gallen, President of Strabane Chamber of Commerce and Industry who said: “Strabane and district has so much to offer shoppers and visitors which is really evident with the added buzz coinciding with the switching-on of the Christmas lights last weekend.
“Motorists and pedestrians in Strabane have got accustomed to the ongoing road works to build the new infrastructure for ‘Gas to the West’. However, I have no doubt that everyone will welcome clearer main access routes in and out of the town centre during the busy Christmas period.
“This arrangement will help ensure that retailers, shoppers and visitors have a more hassle-free and prosperous Christmas and it will undoubtedly assist trade, traffic and all round goodwill within our town centre areas heading into the new year.”
Community engagement is ongoing in all of the local towns with a new series of public information sessions planned to update residents, business owners and other interested stakeholders on the arrival of natural gas in their areas.
Strabane is the first of eight main towns to benefit from the £250m Gas to the West infrastructure project, with £15m invested to date there alone. Over 1,500 homes and businesses in Strabane will have access to natural gas from January next year.
SGN Natural Gas is scheduled to supply gas mains and metres to 40,000 customers over the next 40 years in eight main towns in the western area including Strabane, Cookstown, Coalisland, Derrylin, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Magherafelt and Omagh.