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Street lighting concerns addressed by council leader
SOME street lighting will be returned to the North Wallasey Approach Road after Wirral Council’s leader listened to concerns raised by drivers.
The measure – brought in on several major roads – has been introduced as a means to cut costs but has sparked concern for road safety, with several motorists contacting the Globe saying they fear it will lead to accidents.
Wirral Council leader, councillor Phil Davies told the Globe he too had received letters from concerns drivers, leading to the decision of switching some of the lights back on, while other routes will also be reviewed.
He said: “I have decided, with savings having been made and having listened to concerns of road users, to restore some lighting to the North Wallasey Approach Road as it was clear that drivers were experiencing particular difficulties on this section of busy road.
“Taking account of the need to highlight junctions, we will move to an arrangement of alternate lights being switched on.
“This will ensure a balance between energy cost savings being made and the concerns of road users.
“I have asked officers to look further at opportunities to reduce lighting on other routes – without switching off all lights – to address the reduction in savings resulting from this review.”
Cllr Davies said the recent switch-off stems from results of last year’s “What Really Matters” public consultation, in which residents were invited to give their views on a raft of options to save money.
He added: “Furthermore, officers will review in partnership with the police the other roads where lights have been switched off to assess whether alternate lights off arrangements would be more suitable than complete switch off.
“Again, if we do that, we will look at introducing alternate lights to more roads, in consultation with the police, to ensure that our budget savings needs are achieved.”
Earlier this week, senior Wirral councillor Stuart Kelly hit out at the council’s plans to switch off more street lights on some of the borough’s busiest roads.
He branded the decision ‘horrendous’ and said it could put the public at serious risk.
The £85,000 savings that could be achieved by switching off certain street lights are part of a £22m cuts package forced on the local authority this year by the governing coalition.
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