The decision taken by the Department for Regional Development (DRD) to allocate funds to be used for roads maintenance and street lighting in Derry has been welcomed by both the SDLP and Sinn Fein.
DRD announced yesterday that it will receive over £5million for street lighting and roads maintenance as part of January monitoring round.
Speaking to the Derry Journal on Tuesday evening, SDLP MLA for Foyle and Environment Minister, Mark H. Durkan, said he hoped the funds would help to appease residents living in areas where street lighting is an issue.
“After unsuccessfully bidding for additional funding, the Roads Minister has finally been afforded additional resource via the January monitoring round to meet short comings in his budget. Having supported my Executive colleague before, I am delighted that other Parties have now recognised the vital need to fund local roads and street lighting services.
“In my own constituency I am inundated with requests for street lighting repair every day, only to hear that Roads Service is under pressure and some residents could be waiting months to get their street lights switched on. Families in Derry will now feel relieved that the Roads Minister is reinstating maintenance contracts and hopefully services will return to normal.
“A light out may seem a small issue but for some, the reality of no street lighting can cause massive problems relating to anti-social behaviour, potential burglary and safety issues for drivers and pedestrians alike. I am hopeful that this additional money will allow maintenance to be resumed and go some way in addressing the concerns and fears of residents.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Tony Hassan also welcomed the news that the work is to start soon.
“I am glad to learn that work on repairing road and street lights will begin straight away.
“A few weeks ago I revealed that there was over 2,500 street/road lights out of order in the Derry City Council area. It will be a massive task to be get all those repairs carried but this is at least a start.”