Traffic gridlock at new Cookstown KFC junction

The traffic congestion on the Sweep Road Cookstown.INMM5214-382
The traffic congestion on the Sweep Road Cookstown.INMM5214-382

Frustrated motorists have vented their anger that eager customers visiting Cookstown’s new KFC restaurant are in fact causing traffic jams in the area.

Several irate motorists contacted the Mid Ulster Mail in the last week to express their frustrations that traffic at the Sweep Road junction had become almost impossible to get through.

One angry driver, who did not wish to be named spoke of how it took him 20 minutes to get through the junction as customers waiting to get into KFC’s drive-thru were using the left hand lane as a queue.

“It is an absolute disgrace that the entrance was ever given the go ahead where they have put it.

“Where the entrance is situated, people looking to go into KFC are using the main road as a queueing lane, meaning that other motorists like myself who are trying to turn left at the junction, can’t get past.

“I know it’s new to the town and everyone wants to go but it is shocking planning. It’s totally inconsiderate on those people who have to use that junction on a daily basis to get to and from work, it is adding on serious delays and those delays will not be getting any easier with the Christmas rush,” he added.

Another angry motorist said it was “totally ridiculous” that there is no system in place to deal with the traffic flow at such a busy junction.

“I just don’t understand how they can let cars use a main road to queue to get into a restaurant and forget about other road users.”

A spokesperson for the DOE who deal with planning applications said: “In assessing the application for the KFC restaurant, account was taken of highway matters and Transport NI were consulted.

“Whilst it was recognised that the proposal when opened would result in some traffic disruption, in applying highway standards, it was not felt that this would result in a significant deterioration in highway safety. It is also anticipated that usage of the restaurant will be at its peak when first opening and in the run-up to Christmas.

“However, the resulting traffic movements are likely to settle over time as has been the experience of similar business in Northern Ireland.”

A KFC spokesperson told the MAIL: “Our new Drive-thru restaurant in Cookstown has been especially busy during the Christmas period, but we expect the volume of traffic to subside in the new year.

“At KFC we strive to be a good neighbour and a positive addition to the local community so we are always happy to collaborate with local residents to address any concerns that they have.”