Waterside Greenway is set for lighting upgrade

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The problem of street lighting at the new Waterside Greenway is to be tackled by the local council, the SDLP’s Martin Reilly has said.

Councillor Reilly spoke this week to welcome a commitment from Derry City Council which would see the installation of new signs and moves to address street lighting problems.

The three-and-a-half mile long cycle path and walkway links the Foyle Bridge with the Peace Bridge, allowing for a two-way circuit along and across the east and west banks of the river.

The first phase of work seen the new route link the east side of the Peace Bridge with St Columb’s Park, while the second phase seen the riverside greenway opened up for a further two-and-a-half miles to the Foyle Bridge, providing access to the waterfront from the Waterside. Eventually, the greenway will stretch the whole way to Strathfoyle.

This week, SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly welcomed a commitment from Derry City Council to display information signage along the Waterside Greenway to encourage cyclists to be aware of pedestrians using this route.

He said: “I have been contacted by a constituent who regularly uses the Waterside Greenway as a pedestrian. Indeed, this stretch of land is very popular with cyclists, walkers and joggers alike – and a great addition which will become even more widely used when the Foyle Arena opens at the end of March.”

Mr Reilly continued: “It is important for safety reasons that there are clear understandings between these groups of users, and the installation of signage should greatly assist in this regard.”

The former Mayor has also raised a query about lighting along the Waterside Greenway after being contacted by early-morning runners who complained that the pathway is too dark.

He said: “Council Officers have agreed to look at the light sensors which control the illumination in this area which will hopefully sort out this problem too.”

The lighting issue echoes wider concerns about street lighting which have been raised across Northern Ireland since a budget crisis at the Northern Ireland Executive forced Transport Minister Danny Kennedy to axe repairs.

Since Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy cut contracts for repairing lampposts in response to the budget crisis last August, around 26,500 lights have been reported as being out. Of those, more than 8,700 were repaired just before the Christmas holidays - leaving a new total of 17,800 which are still broken and unrepaired.