SDLP Councillor, Shauna Cusack has expressed her disbelief at Transport NI’s decision to remove street lighting behind a number of houses at Forest Park in the City leaving it in darkness. The Derry City and Strabane Councillor said: “The removal occurred a few weeks ago and we have since been in constant contact with TransportNI’s representative who has stated that it was the result of a ‘change of policy’ by the Department stating that the lights were removed when ‘there is an alternative light source’. In reality, this area simply does not have an alternative light source. Therefore, Mark H Durkan’s office has requested further clarity on this decision and we are still awaiting a reply.
“Having personally visited the site with residents on an early evening, it is evident the area is a health hazard. This is not just a back lane, but a substantial square through which the residents, many of them elderly, receive services and bring their bins for collection. Indeed the representative of TransportNI who had also visited the site was able to confirm to me that he agreed the area was in darkness. We understand that due to DRD budgetary cuts the Department has targeted street lighting in order to cut cost but they cannot put people’s safety and security at risk. We will therefore be perusing the issue to get these lights replaced.