The Manse residents ‘angry’ at removal of street lighting
SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh has said that changes in DRD street lighting policy has angered many residents in areas where it is proposed to remove light standards from walkways to the rear of their homes.
“Local residents in Nos. 17 -28 The Manse, Newry have approached me to make representations on their behalf regarding the change of street lighting policy by DRD which will mean the removal of light standards in walk ways to the rear of some people’s homes that have been in existence since the area was built.
“People are understandably angry about this change as it affects many people both young and old who depend on street lighting to provide a level of security for those using the path and to help with sure-footed access to their homes.
“Residents have stated that they use the walkway on a regular basis to access their homes.
The SDLP MLA continued, “At present they do not feel safe entering the alleyway in hours of darkness as the lack of illumination is creating the very conditions that nowadays would be designed out of new developments.
“People are also angry that the new policy does not seems to be available on the department’s website nor can anyone identify to date any degree of consultation on the issue.
“At the moment it seems that this policy is being applied quite rigidly without regard to local circumstances and conditions, the difficulties which residents face in certain areas due to age and disability.
“The PSNI have carried out a survey of the area and as a result are very much opposed to the removal of the lighting.
I have met on site at the Manse in Newry with the DRD Minister Danny Kennedy who despite strong representations made to him is allowing his department to proceed with the changes.
“This is despite it being abundantly clear that this decision fails to take account of the 1993 Road Order, their own Policy and Procedure Guide quoted to residents, the British Standards relating to the lighting of such walkways and Secured by Design advice on lighting and crime.
Bradley added, “Kennedy has failed to justify his decision and has failed to explain how it accords with their own provisions.
“I have asked him to reconsider his latest decision, having regard to local circumstance and with a view to allowing the street lighting to remain and not applying a policy without thorough and due consideration.
“I will be meeting with the police and residents in the near future to further the campaign to keep the walkways properly lit.”
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