A Local Election candidate for the Clare Green Party has suggested that Ennis could act as a pilot location for the rollout of ‘glow-in-the-dark’ roads which have already been introduced across the Netherlands.
Gerben Uunk who is contesting the County Council election in the Ennis Municipal District was responding to a proposal from Sinn Féin candidate Cathal O’Reilly who last week suggested that the government provide a grant to local authorities to convert street lights to LEDs.
According to Mr. Uunk: “The news in the Clare Herald of April 14, 2014 that ‘Sinn Féin LED proposal for Ennis street lights’, caught my eyes. I certainly admire Cathal O’Reilly for thinking outside the box. However, I believe there could be a different, simpler solution. The solution being a cost effective form of putting so-called ‘Glow in Dark Road Marks’, invented in my former country of residence the Netherlands. It a win-win situation. “
He added: “Glow-in-the-dark roads made a debut in Netherlands. It’s been said that they actually look beautiful, but they could also save a lot on streetlight power i.e. is carbon neutral/lower our carbon footprint, from an environmental perspective. Light-absorbing glow-in-the-dark road markings have replaced streetlights on a 500m (0.3 mile) stretch of highway in the Netherlands, the N329 near the Dutch town of Oss, approximately 100km south east of Amsterdam. The pilot project has apparently the support of the Dutch government and, if successful, engineering firm Heijmans plan to expand it to other areas later this year. Using glow-in-the-dark paint treated with photo-luminizing powder, it’s been said that these roadway strips recharge by daylight and can illuminate roads for up to ten hours at night, reducing the need for auxiliary lighting.
“The Irish government should grant the local authority in Ennis to experiment on a serious scale with glow-in-dark road markings, both on urban and suburban level, in time on the M18 too (with hopefully the NRA embracing it). That is if the experiment in Oss, in Holland, is proven successful.
“It is a brilliant and very interesting concept, but how long before the idea is implemented on the back roads of rural Ireland remains to be seen. These glow in dark markings might have usage for cycle lanes as well. Now bicycle logos/markings are applied using a standard propane torch for example. Can Ennis be on the brink of a new road revolution, I wonder?” Mr. Uunk concluded.