Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Deputy Lord Mayor has called on the local authority to urge the Minister for Infrastructure to change the criteria for street lighting.
Speaking at the monthly meeting on Monday, Councillor Tim McClelland, told the chamber of an area besides Bingham’s Shop between Kinallen and Katesbridge that had street lighting columns removed for repairs.
However, following a review by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), the lights were not reinstated as the area in question does not meet the current criteria for street lighting.
Cllr McClelland said this decision has resulted in the busy area, which has had street lights since the 1970s and sees vehicles park on both sides of the road when visiting the shop, being plunged into darkness at night and called for DfI to rethink this decision.
“I want to raise an issue facing my constituents in one of the most rural parts of this council,” said Cllr McClelland.
“Recently a couple of lighting columns were removed outside a shop that is a community hub.
“They were removed under the guise of needing repairs done but lo and behold, when they were removed, DfI officials looked at the criteria and will not reinstate them as the area does not meet the criteria for street lighting.
“So, after 50 years, this area, outside a shop with a school bus shelter very near does not meet the criteria for street lights.
“Local DfI staff are basically hiding behind the criteria and frankly, it is just not good enough. I would propose that we are in contact with both the minister and the permanent secretary with a view to getting this criteria changed.
“It is a real need and I would ask that the council supports this call to get these street lights reinstated.”
Council’s Lord Mayor Councillor Paul Greenfield confirmed the local authority would write to both the Infrastructure Minister, John O’Dowd MLA and the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Infrastructure, Julie Harrison, about the matter.