Taking a dim view of street lights

The Council has acknowledged that some of Armidale’s streets are too dim, but lacks the funding to improve the situation.DIMLY lit streets around Armidale are a cause for concern among residents, but Council says a lack of funds is the main obstacle to lighting improvements.

Armidale Dumaresq Council general manager Shane Burns told The Express that $48,000 had been allocated in next year’s budget to improve street lighting, with similar funding allocations in the past spent on trouble spots.

“Our strategy is gradual improvement within financial capacity,” he said.

Mr Burns said Council was planning to spend $299,000 in the 2013/2014 financial year under the energy efficiency program to upgrade the existing old 50 and 80-watt lights with more efficient and effective lighting.

Former Armidale resident Andrew Trestrail, who has temporarily returned to the city, said the current street lighting was inadequate and made for a dangerous night environment.

“As a previous Armidale resident, basically things have not much changed in 37 years,” he said.

“If people want to walk home after hours, if they’re intoxicated or they can’t drive, it needs attention, it needs it quick.There should be more lighting for that reason if people are on their own walking, either women or men.”

Mr Trestrail said he felt the eastern side of town, heading towards Coffs Harbour, the streets

surrounding the racecourse and the area near Bunnings Warehouse needed particular attention.

“I’ve walked a fair bit, as others have before, and it’s not good,” he said.

Another local resident who declined to be named said he had not been walking enough at night to notice a problem, but had noticed it was dimly lit towards the edge of town while driving.

“That area where you come in near the Rockvale Estate, there’s not a lot of lighting there,” he said.

– Victoria Nugent

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