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'GHOST TOWN'

SOME traders being starved of customers by road closures in Antrim town fear that they could go to the wall before a series of multi-million projects are completed next year.

Traffic is currently barred from travelling up Fountain Street at all times throughout the week, with detours creating snarl-ups as cars compete to escape the town centre.

NI Water is laying pipes down the busy thoroughfare, and those works are expected to last 13 weeks.

That would be bad enough for traders, but there is more upheaval in the pipeline.

A public realm scheme, including new footpaths and street lighting similar to those in the town centre, is scheduled to start soon - followed by a major BT scheme in the area.

Some estimates suggest that it could be June 2019 before any semblance of normality returns to Fountain Street. And some are warning that by then a retail sector already on life support will be long dead.

*Read the full story in this week’s Antrim Guardian

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