Issue of broken streetlights ‘cannot be fobbed off’: Hearty

February 15, 2016

Sinn Féin councillor Terry Hearty has called on Transport NI to address the considerable number of streetlights across south Armagh, which are broken or in need of repair, pointing out that the problem is particularly prevalent in the Crossmaglen, Culloville and Creggan areas,” he said.

Mr Hearty says the problem cannot simply be dismissed as an issue of resources “as it relates to people’s safety on the roads and sense of security in their homes”.

He highlighted the absence of street lighting on the Culloville Road where dozens of children attend a youth club in the evenings, many of whom walk to and from the facility; and also on the Dundalk Road, where children are walking to school on dark winter mornings.

“Meanwhile, in Creggan, there is street lighting out around the houses of a number of elderly residents, one of whom was robbed this time last year and feels very insecure in her home as a result,” Councillor Hearty added.

“Now this cannot be fobbed off with excuses about resources, these are serious issues about the safety of our young people and the rights of our elderly residents to feel secure in their own homes.

“Like so many of the other problems in the area, this all comes back to a woefully inadequate maintenance programme from the department over the last few years.  It has now gotten so bad, and there are that many lights out, that Transport NI will simply not be able to catch up with the work that needs done.”

Councillor Hearty says he is asking the Department to use the additional funding it has received to install a team of contractors in the area to work specifically on fixing street lighting, “much like I have asked them to do in regards to the roads”.

“There is simply no other option. At their current rate Transport NI will not have finished replacing street lighting in the area until the middle of the summer.  When the safety of our children and the security of our elderly people is at risk, that is simply unacceptable,” he said.