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Street light outages due to lack of money

THE Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has come under fire this week for continuing street light outages in Strabane and Castlederg.

Sinn Féin councillor Ruairi McHugh and Strabane independent councillor, Raymond Barr have both said they have lobbied DfI officials with regard to the ongoing situation in their respective areas.

As well as street lighting issues, Cllr McHugh raised traffic calming concerns in Castlederg with DfI officials at a special meeting of council’s Environmental Committee on Monday.

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The Derg councillor said, “I brought to their attention that despite having reported street lighting outages in the town over two months ago they still have not been repaired. They responded by saying due to budget constraints they are only using in-house staff to fix lights with those of a dangerous nature/risk being prioritised. I said it wasn’t good enough and that the on-line system is saying lights are repaired when they have not been.” Cllr McHugh said he also pressed for traffic calming cushions on the Erganagh Road, Castlederg as well as raising the need to relocate traffic calming cushions on lower Kilclean Road as the town boundary has been extended to Oakleigh Grove.

However Strabane councillor Raymond Barr was unable to achieve any response from DfI despite making a multitude of complaints.

“I didn’t get a single reply for them, which is really disappointing,” Cllr Barr said.

“They’re dragging their feet on this. It’s OK talking about budgetary constraints but some of these light outages are in places where health and safety is an issue.

“The street lighting at the bottom of Castle Place and Market Street is back on after two months but some of the others have been out since September. Despite numerous complaints – I’ve made complaints about other lights being out around the town centre – I’ve had no response. I also made an official complaint to NIE direct.

“We’re just being ignored for some reason. But we’ll keep complaining.”
No-one from DfI was available for comment.

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 4 Castle Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT82 8AB