Funding to fix street lights is welcomed

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Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale has welcomed an announcement from the Transport Minister, Michelle McIlveen MLA, that an extra £1million funding for street lights will be used immediately to tackle the backlog of broken street lights.

The extra money is included in a £24million allocation by the NI Executive to the Department as part of the November monitoring round to deliver improved public services including repairing potholes and other road maintenance.

Making the announcement, the Transport Minister said: “This additional funding from the NI Executive is very good news for the public and for wider employment in the sector.

“It is clear that the rising number of broken street lights and potholes has been a real cause of concern.

“Broken streetlights are a major cause of concern for the public, particularly during the dark winter nights.

“While we have reports of over 7,000 lights not working, we expect the real number to be much higher.

“We have now ramped up the service and TransportNI is working with external contractors to carry out repairs and clear the backlog which is expected to take a number of months.

“To help identify faulty street lights, my Department has developed an online system on nidirect which the public can use to report problems in their area.

“I want to assure the public that this funding will be used immediately to address these issues.”

Welcoming the additional funding, Mrs Hale said: “This is great news.

“My office has been inundated with complaints of defective streetlights especially in the Dromore, Dromara, Moira and Hillsborough areas.

“Some of these lights have been in a backlog for repair for several months. Hopefully with extra funding, this backlog can be addressed speedily.

“To report a defective street light, contact Transportni on 0300 200 7892.

“Alternatively, members of the public can contact my office 028 9269 8866.”

In addition to the £16.5 million resource funding for routine roads maintenance and street lights, teh Department of Regional Development also received £5 million capital structural maintenance of roads; £2million resource for Concessionary Fares and £0.6 million resource for Community Transport.

Broken or damaged streetlights can also be reported online via the nidirect website at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/street-lighting-and-reporting-a-fault