A LOCAL businessman has hit out at Roads Service for damaging trade after a number of signs were removed from the roadside adjacent to businesses on the Gortin Road in Omagh.
The move – which was carried out by DRD Roads Service – has been condemned as as ‘hindrance’ to businesses trying to battle the recession.
However, Roads Service have claimed the ‘illegal’ signs could pose a distraction to road users and a spokesperson for the Department of Regional Development (DRD) said the owners could have the confiscated items returned by contacting the local Roads Service depot at Arvalee.
It is understood that signs belonging to a number of businesses along a stretch of the Gortin Road were removed in what DRD describe as a ‘sweep’ of the town. These included Graham and Sons Printers, a car wash business and a fuel supply company.
The signs included sandwich boards and poster-type signs attached to lamp-posts.
Peter Clarke, production manager at Graham and Sons Printers – who also trade as The Postcard Company – said the move hampered local businesses who were trying hard to beat the recession.
“With local companies trying to battle against the internet and keep jobs local, I can’t understand why the DRD Roads Service, have removed pavement signs – advertising to the local public that we do printing and signage locally,” Mr Clarke said.
“Town centres are dying on their feet, trying to fight against the internet and companies that don’t pay taxes nationally let alone locally.
“We employ many people locally and pay our taxes (rates), national taxes and spend locally, you would think that the local council and Roads Service etc, would be of some help and not a hindrance.” added Mr Clarke.
Roads Service, however, say the signs were illegally positioned and posed a nuisance to drivers.
A spokesperson said, “Roads Service removed illegal advertising signs from the network during a recent sweep of the town.
“Illegal signs can pose a nuisance and a distraction to the road user. Sign owners who would like their signs back can contact the Roads Service Section office at Arvalee.”