Public street lighting in Cork City is being compromised by cutbacks
and the transfer of the street-lighting contract to Airtricity, a
private company, according to Workers’ Party Councillor, Ted Tynan.
Councillor Tynan said that where once broken or faulty street lights
would be repaired or replaced within days of a fault being reported
now areas are being left in the dark and lamps which have become
dangerous are being removed without a replacement.
“The deregulation of the electricity industry, a prelude to
privatisation, leaves Airtricity, a company with the sole motive of
profit, in charge of Cork’s public lighting, The City Council says
its lighting budget is empty and Airtricity refuse to do anything
without additional payment from the council. Once again the general
public are the losers in all of this”, said Cllr. Tynan.
He said that this is a city-wide problem but gave as an example the
removal of six old wooden lighting poles in a short stretch of road
between St. Joseph’s Church and Mayfield Library. “Instead of
replacing these old and rotten poles they were simply taken down
leaving a residential area and busy roadway in virtual darkness. This
is a public safety issue and also affects the sense of security of
residents and pedestrians at night. Of course it will be the public
who take the hit if something goes wrong and somebody is injured or
worse as a result of this penny-pinching”, said Cllr. Tynan.