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Solar powered public lighting to be piloted in Donegal – Doherty

30 October, 2007


Donegal Sinn Féin Senator and Transport Spokesperson Pearse Doherty has announced that solar powered public lighting is to be introduced on a pilot basis on the N56 at Meenacuing and on a section of the N13 Derry to Letterkenny route.

Speaking today Senator Doherty said, "Under existing NRA policy these sections of road would not normally qualify for public lighting. However, after much lobbying from Sinn Féin and others the National Roads Design Office have sourced a form of solar powered lighting that they keen to pilot.

"They have agreement from the Networks Section of the NRA to install these lights on the N56 at Meenacuing and on a section of the N13 Derry to Letterkenny route. The lights have been ordered and are due to arrive at the end of November and it is hoped to have them erected shortly after that.

"Sinn Féin is keen to see the success of solar powered lighting in Ireland as this could go some way to improving road safety. Due to costs involved in lighting our roads the NRA policy restricts public lighting outside speed limits except the in the case of junctions of National and Regional roads, Roundabouts and slip roads to or from motorways and dual carraigeways and lastly to locations which have a proven darkness related accident history.

"This policy is unacceptable as it means we have to wait for not just one accident to happen but a whole history of accidents before it is decided that public lighting is required. It is akin to closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

"If solar powered lighting can provide the standard of light required for public lighting then it is most welcome as it is an energy efficient source of light. However, if this type of lighting could be successfully introduced throughout the country then vast amounts of money could be saved by local authorities which could then be re-directed into other projects such as improving road standards." ENDS

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