Road to Nowhere... ‘We’ve lost 80 per cent of our business but we have to get on with it’

A MEATH filling station and shop has lost between 75 and 80 per cent of its business since the closure of the Slane/Navan Road last month.

Aidan Curtis, who runs McBrides Filling Station on the Slane/Navan Road said he has seen a dramatic fall off in business since the road closed.

The road closed in early July and the closure us scheduled to continue until Friday 30th September to facilitate the current Dunmoe Phase 2 Realignment Scheme.

The road is closed at Dunmoe between its junction with the R162 Navan and the R163 Slane, to facilitate the roadworks.

“It has had a serious impact on our business – we lost close to 80 per cent of it,” Mr Curtis said,

“The end result will be beneficial for everyone and the guys working on the construction have been very helpful and working with myself, customers and staff.

“It is a body of work that cannot be avoided, but it is very difficult, and we have to get on with it,” he said.

“Both Meath County Council engineers and Fox construction workers have been trying to minimise the effects and are communicating well with us, but there is still another two months of the closure to go – although I hope it won't be a full two months.”

Mr Curtis said he hoped that there will be some sort of compensation scheme in place for businesses affected by road closures like this.

“There were plenty of examples in the last 18 months of how businesses can be supported,” he said.

Local Aontu representative, Peter Whelan said the service station and shop depends on the passing trade on this normally busy route.

“As a direct result of this closure, his business is down 70 per cent turnover.”

Mr Whelan has written to Meath County Council pointing out that during the Covid pandemic, the government introduced PUP payments for people and businesses directly affected by the closure by the government of certain types of industry.

He asked the council to reimburse them for the loss of income as a direct result in Meath Co Council’s actions.

“While I accept that this work needs to be carried out, I also feel that this duration ( three months ) of closure and constant lack of revenue should be seriously considered. There will also be long term damage to business as people get used to going elsewhere,” he said.

Meath County Council is advising eastbound motorists to divert from the Slane/Navan Road onto the R162 and then turn tight onto the R163, sign posted Drogheda to its junction with the N51. Westbound traffic is advised to turn right onto the R163 at Slane until its junction with the R162 and continue to its junction with the N51.

Diversion signs are in place and residents and property holders are being facilitated with access throughout the closure period.