Call for action as broken street lamps leave Derry in the dark

LIGHTS OUT!. . . Car lights illuminate Bradley Pass in Shantallow last winter as many street lights went unrepaired. A warning has been issued that the problem is being experienced again across Derry this year.
LIGHTS OUT!. . . Car lights illuminate Bradley Pass in Shantallow last winter as many street lights went unrepaired. A warning has been issued that the problem is being experienced again across Derry this year.
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Transport NI officials have said it could be the Spring of 2016 before a backlog of broken street lamps in the city is cleared. The government body said it hoped to have most of the repairs carried out by the end of next March.

They were speaking in response to concerns raised by Derry City & Strabane District Sinn Féin Councillor Tony Hassan over the situation facing residents in Derry.

Colr. Hassan said there has been a flood of complaints regarding an issue which was now affecting residents across Derry for a second year in a row.

Colr. Hassan said:“Back in November the Transport Minister, Michelle McIlveen announced that an extra £1million funding has been made available for street lights and that it would be be used immediately to tackle the backlog of broken street lights.

“Whilst I welcome this announcement because I have been lobbying since January for extra funding I feel the pace of the fixing of the street lights is still not at full capacity.

“I am getting weekly complaints from across the constituency about areas where lights have been out for a considerable period of time.”

Colr. Hassan said the Minister herself has said that broken street lights are a major cause of concern for the public, particularly during the dark winter nights.

“I echo those concerns,” he said, adding: “I am urging Transport NI(Road Service) to identify hot spots in the city where lights are out and make them a priority.”

Speaking in repsonse to the concerns raised, a spokesperson for TransportNI said: “By end of March 2016, the Department envisages that the vast majority of the backlog for repair of street lights will have been removed.”

He added: “The public can assist us by reporting failures on NI Direct - ‘Report a Street Light Fault’ http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/street-lighting-and-reporting-a-fault or by telephone on 0300 200 7899.”