Traders’ relief as scaffolding down at last

Henna Ahmed and scaffolding outside her shop.
Henna Ahmed and scaffolding outside her shop.

Traffic in Bellshill town centre should be moving better now that scaffolding has finally been removed from a storm-damaged building.

That’s the view of Councillor Harry McGuigan who believes efforts to tackle congestion should be judged only now the obstacle has gone.

The scaffolding was put up shortly before Christmas 2011 after high winds caused the wall of a two-storey building in Hamilton Road to collapse.

Residents were moved out while the building was made safe, but work was delayed because of complex insurance issues.

The scaffolding affected business for shopkeepers and encroached on to Hamilton Road which had only recently reverted to two-way traffic as part of a scheme to improve traffic flow in the town centre.

Councillor McGuigan said: “Traffic flow should improve now this obstacle has been removed. The new scheme didn’t really have a chance before this happened.

He said the scaffolding had meant buses couldn’t use the area reserved for them to stop in Hamilton Road, causing tailbacks, adding:“It’s important everyone plays there part here. Bus drivers had an excuse for not pulling in before, but they don’t have now.”

Henna Ahmed said her clothing business had suffered because of the scaffolding outside which had obscured her window display.

She said: “I want to thank my customers who kept me going, but some people said they had forgotten I was here. It shouldn’t have taken two years to get back to normal - I didn’t expect that.”

Councillor McGuigan sympathised, saying: “It’s terrible what traders and drivers have had to put up with. It’s been a long saga.

“I want to hear from people now if there are any traffic issues.”