A CONTROVERSIAL project which will see the approaches to Cumbernauld Centre lit up by so called ‘neon waves’ is expected to be up and running by early May.
This has been confirmed by North Lanarkshire Council who paid £963,000 for the so-called lighting sculpture which aims to give motorists the sensation of driving through a wave. This was intended to reflect the origin of Cumbernauld’s original name ‘Comar-nan-Allt’ – or ‘the meeting of the waters’.
However the project has proved to be one of the most unpopular council initiatives of recent times and not purely on grounds of cost.
The News received complaints from readers who branded the project a safety hazard amidst claims they had been dazzled by the glare of the lights during a test run.
Technical difficulties have also meant that the project has been subject to delays. Although council bosses hoped to have the ‘neon waves’ up and running by January, problems with the lighting has held this back.
A spokesperson form NLC admitted that the site was currently a no-go area but that this was set to change.
He said: “Due to pressure of work, it will be approximately two weeks before the contractor can move back on site to make the agreed changes. The job is expected to take no more than five days and a further safety inspection will take place shortly after. We expect the lights to be fully functional by early May.’’
Reports in the national press last week stated that the cost of the remedial work stands at £5000 but the council told the News that the sum was in fact ‘‘considerably less.’’
There has also been some suggestion that all the bulbs have proved to be unsuitable and that new bulbs are costing £200 EACH - but NLC says that this claim is baseless.