Sean Fleming TD is shocked to hear that the public lighting at many of the motorway junctions in Laois and in Kildare are to be switched off in the coming months.

Deputy Fleming said, “Transport Infrastructure Ireland has informed me that they are removing mainline lighting from the following junctions on the M7:

Junction 17 – Togher, Portlaoise
Junction 16 – The Heath, Portlaoise
Junction 15 – Emo / Montague
Junction 14 – Monasterevin
Junction 13 – Kildare Town
Junction 12 – Newbridge

“Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) have informed me that this is part of a national programme to remove mainline lighting from 35-40 junctions on the motorway/dual carriageway network throughout the country. They say that they propose to remove the mainline lighting at the above junctions as they say the current lighting is surplus to that required by current design standards. They also say that it is part of a national programme aimed at reducing energy consumption.

“Some time ago I made an enquiry about having lights installed at Junction 18 (the turn off for Mountrath) on the M7 as there are lights on every junction between Dublin and Junction 18.

“I was shocked to hear that their response was that they already had plans to remove the lighting on all junctions the whole way back to Junction 12 (Newbridge) and that they are implementing this on a nationwide basis.”

Deputy Fleming was critical of the fact that there has been little or no public awareness of this plan and many people will be surprised.

“It is their plan to turn off the lights on the main motorway dual carriageway section of the road at these junctions and not on the slip road entrances/exits to the motorway or the roundabouts or the bridges over the junctions.

“Some people may feel this is a good idea to reduce energy consumption and light pollution. Other people will be concerned that this is the commencement of a more extensive programme to curtail public lighting at many key locations throughout the country.”