Call to light up popular canal walkway

SDLP Councillor Malachy Quinn
SDLP Councillor Malachy Quinn

A Mid Ulster councillor is calling for lights to be erected along the entire Coalisland Canal path.

SDLP Torrent Councillor Malachy Quinn wants the local Council to carry out the work call as the public realm scheme gets underway in the town centre.
Speaking about the proposal he said: “Over recent weeks I have engaged with local people and council staff over future plans for the Coalisland Canal and more precisely the walkway which stretches all the way from Coalisland town centre to the high bridge at Derrytresk.
" I believe that in order to reach its full potential Mid-Ulster Council should light up the walkway so that it can be used all year around. I'm under no illusions that this would be a big piece of work to undertake but it’s one I know has the backing of the local area.
"The Canal is and should be the centre piece for Coalisland, given its historical importance to the establishment of the town. The walkway is used regularly by hundreds of people, be it people just out to keep fit, or for those going into town to do their shopping.
"You only have to go down any evening to see the amount of cars parked up using the walk but the big problem is that once nightfall comes it makes walking the canal unsafe and it would certainly put off those who may otherwise use it."
Councillor Quinn continued: “With the public realm starting in Coalisland I think this presents the best time to start this piece of work and while I know we can’t light the full walkway in one go, I think this is a project that could be finished in two or three phases over the next council term.
"Lighting the walkway would also reduce the amount of anti-social behaviour that goes on there which we have seen happen in other towns and tracks that the council have invested lighting in.
"Another exciting aspect to this project is that once its completed it would tie into other exciting projects that are planned for Derrytresk/Derrylaughan that are designed to open up the potential of the Loughshore area.
"The canal walk has always been down on the council agenda for something for something to be done with it, I think we just need to take the bull by the horns and start this project."