Row over LED lighting scheme still rumbling on

Stark contrast - an area with the old orange lights on the left and the new LED lights on the right.
Stark contrast - an area with the old orange lights on the left and the new LED lights on the right.

The political row over the area’s new LED lights is rumbling on with UUP Alderman Arnold Hatch claiming 193 official complaints have been received by Transport NI.

This, he said, amounts to less than two per cent of the 10,000 LED units the Light Division of TransportNI have installed.

Alderman Hatch and his colleague Cllr Doug Beattie MC met with Transport NI official, Mr Joe Cochrane, recently who confirmed the number of complaints received.

“In response to Alderman Carla Lockhart’s comments in the press about myself and the ‘blame game’, she quite blatantly goes on a rant again blaming Danny Kennedy, the previous DRD Minister,” said Mr Hatch.

“Remember, the funding was provided through the Executive and the DUP Finance Minister and I am aware that the current DUP DRD Minister Michelle McIlveen has said she plans to roll out this LED scheme across Northern Ireland in the foreseeable future.

“Let’s see what the DRD Minister does after the Election.”

Mr Hatch said Mr Cochrane confirmed to him that when a complaint is registered, the area is surveyed and the light measured midway between the lamp standards.

In most cases it met the LUX levels as regulated by Government. Where it doesn’t meet the standards, adjustments are made to the head of the lamp standards in question.

Commenting on the recent coverage on this issue and what he called ‘sustained DUP attacks on Danny Kennedy ‘ Mr Hatch went on to say: “I would like to point out, that it was, in fact, Mr Gregory Campbell, DUP MLA for Londonderry who called for the installation of LED lights in November 2012 quoting 40% savings on running costs and citing Sheffield as an example of savings achieved.

“Throughout last year Danny Kennedy came under relentless pressure from Stormont MLAs to keep street lights on. As recently as April 2015 DUP MLA for South Antrim Paul Girvan urged Danny Kennedy to invest in these lights.”