Traders and customers have spoken of their relief as the finishing touches are put to the Peel Road reconstruction scheme after well over a year of disruption.
Businesses said the project had resulted in a significant downturn in trade as customers had so much trouble simply getting to them.
Amanda Mitchell, director of the Nautilus Plus gym, admitted: ‘It’s been quite a nightmare. It started as soon as they closed the road and started the works – we did see quite a significant downturn in people either being able to get to the gym to join or some of our members found it very awkward to actually get to the gym.’
So what does she think now it’s finished?
She said: ‘We’re very relieved – it’s like being released from a cage. At least we can actually get to where we want and our members can get to come in any time that they want.
‘I think the road looks fantastic. I think it’s a great tribute to the guys and the way they managed to get it done in actually a quicker time than they proposed in the first place. Although it’s been quite a tough time for us we’re just glad it’s all over.’
Robert Byers, managing director at Waltons, said the roadworks had had a ‘very significant impact’ on the business.
‘It could not have come at a worst time for us,’ he said, ‘There was a lot of passing trade but the biggest complaint from customers was they found it difficult to get to us.
‘Business picked up as soon as they introduced two way traffic again. It’s unfortunate they could not have kept it two way the whole way through the works.
‘Communication from the DoI was good and the road now looks great – the boys have done a good job.’
Mr Byers added that he was concerned about the new cycle lane. ‘Drivers need to check their left wing mirror as cyclist may think they have a right of way.’
A customer at Nautilus said: ‘It’s been a year of hell. Sometimes I tried to get to the gym and just gave up. The green lane doesn’t make any sense. It’s not continuous.’
The £4.3m Peel Road project began in March last year and was initially programmed to last 80 weeks but that schedule was subsequently reduced to 60 weeks.