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Lamp post installed in middle of footpath in Northern Ireland town

By Chris McCullough

A lamp post slap bang in the middle of a new footpath has been slammed as "ludicrous".

It is just the latest fiasco in the long-running saga of the £5.7m Millennium Way road project in Lurgan.

Instead of providing fresh incentive for local residents to get out for a walk, it has instead exercised their ire - and that of their representatives.

Officials have defended the strange sight by saying the work on the project has not yet been completed.

The new roadway has been proposed for decades - and repeatedly delayed - with the completion date pushed back several times.

Now locals have been left scratching their heads after a lamp post was left planted in the middle of the footpath.

Alfie Greenaway said he had to stand back and look twice before believing what was before him.

He took this photo on Saturday morning on the way to work and posted it to his Facebook page where it sparked disbelief.

"This section of the road looks complete and is open. It's strange that they left the lamp post in the middle of the footpath," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"I take my grandkids for a walk here, and if holding one in each hand, will have to move onto the cycle path to get around it. If cyclists are coming then we could have total gridlock."

Upper Bann DUP MLA Carla Lockhart described the lamp post as a hazard and queried whether there was any liaison between the street lighting and road surfacing crews during the work. She said she plans to contact Roads Service to instruct the contractor to move the lamp post.

"It is ludicrous to think that this would be acceptable in what is a £5.7million project," she said. "There was obviously a lack of joined-up working with regards to street lighting and surfacing. Whilst I understand the workmanship is not complete, I do feel it is a hazard for pedestrians and needs resolved immediately. I look forward to the completion of this long awaited road."

Roads expert Wesley Johnston said he has seen "this sort of thing" happen before.

"Since lamp posts are often sited in footpaths I assume there's some particularly unusual feature with this one. If it is to be moved, usually it happens if the party who owns the street lamp hasn't had the time or resources to relocate it," he commented.

A Department for Infrastructure spokeswoman said works on the scheme are expected to be completed in late May.

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