Rathfriland residents kept in the dark

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Local councillor Glenn Barr has claimed residents in Rathfriland are being left out in the dark - literally!

According to Councillor Barr Residents at Lissize Avenue have been without street lighting for a month.

Mr Barr claimed it was a fundamental basic responsibility of any government to be able to provide street lighting, but said it was becoming all too common that street-lights across the province were now in darkness, and residents like those in Rathfriland were bearing the brunt of the failure.

He said the reality was that the streets were being plunged into darkness because of politics and budget shortfalls and that streets should be kept illuminated.

“A month is a long long time for any street to be without lighting,” he said. “Christmas has come and passed and these residents are still living there without street lighting.

“The DRD are saying that they don’t have the money to fix them; why don’t they have the money?

“We were told the DRD had £7m, so where is the money and what are they spending the money on? It is not street lighting.

“All too often we are still hearing of areas having to wait a long time to get any street lighting so where is the money going to?” Mr Barr said he was concerned that the faulty street lights were posing a real danger.

“Broken street lights are a major cause of concern for the public, particularly during the dark winter nights,” he said.

In November, Stormont said it was releasing £1m to fix up to 7,000 street lights across Northern Ireland.

According to the NI Direct Government website, street lights are provided to ‘improve road safety’ as well as to ‘reduce crime.’

A DRD spokesperson said, “TransportNI are in the process of arranging an on-site meeting with Cllr Barr. Any necessary repairs will be actioned and completed in due course.