Cyprus Mail

Shopkeepers say Cyprus rally will obstruct business

Gridlock as some of Nicosia's roads were closed for the Cyprus Rally in the past

SHOP keepers are up in arms over staging part of the Cyprus Rally in downtown Nicosia on Saturday claiming that the closing of major roads will block access to the walled part of town and prevent consumers from visiting.

“There are already many problems caused by the works at Eleftheria square. The Cyprus rally has created a big fuss over nothing and will burden the market on a Saturday, which is the day that shopkeepers work the most”, deputy-head of the shopkeepers’ association, Lakis Zoides, said.

He also accused the Nicosia municipality of not informing the association or ask their opinion on the programming of the event.

“We are surprised that the municipality did not inform us as it usually does. If we had been told, we would have expressed our disagreement from the beginning and a solution could be found,” he added.

Meanwhile, municipality spokesman Makis Nicolaides refuted the statements about the blocking of access to the old part of Nicosia.

“The centre could be accessed from Eleftheria square, Rigenis street and Trikoupi street,” he told the Cyprus Mail, adding that “this year’s special stage has been shortened to avoid the closing of central roads which in the past had caused traffic congestion and discomfort to the public”.

Nicolaides also said that the rally is a major motorsport event that will help in promoting the city and should be supported by all citizens.

“It is a shame that some people are opposed to such a big event that will give life to our town and will work for the benefit of all,” he added.

A shopkeeper on Rigenis Street said that no problems will be caused from the rally, adding that if someone wants to go for shopping, there will be access from various points.

The stage’s centre will be the Markos Drakos roundabout next to Paphos Gate and the following roads will be temporarily closed:

  • Rigenis street – from the junction with Arsinois Street all the way up to the Markos Drakos roundabout next to the Paphos Gate;
  • Egyptou street – from Lloyd George to the Markos Drakos roundabout;
  • Museum street – from the junction with Nehru street until the Markos Drakos roundabout;
  • Kinyras street – from the junction at Pedieos bridge until the Markos Drakos roundabout;
  • Markos Drakos street;
  • Charalambos Mouskos street – up to the junction with Kinyras sreet;
  • Kostis Palama street (one lane);
  • One lane of Gregoris Afxentiou;
  • Chilonos street – direction towards the Cyprus museum traffic lights.

Members of the public wishing to watch the special stage are advised to come to the area earlier and to use all adjacent parking areas and to comply with directions of the police and the safety marshals. No entry fee will be charged for fans wishing to watch this year’s CNP Asfalistiki Super Special Stage.

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