Country park road to be lit The Highways Department's last-ditch effort to convince residents of Sai Kung that street lamps along an unlit area of the country park are necessary has failed, but it still plans to press ahead with the plan. There has been a long-running impasse over the installation of the lights along a quiet, dark part of the country park where the department is attempting to erect 81 street lights along Pak Tam Road from Lady Maclehose Village to Uk Tau, at a cost of HK$800,000. The project has been on hold for more than 17 months, although 41of the light poles are already in place. A meeting at the end of last month ended with residents continuing to disagree with the plans. Another meeting with a resident will be held on Friday, but transport officials seem set to go ahead with the plans because they say members of the Rural Committee and village representatives are in favour of the lights. The Highways Department says the lights are necessary for traffic and pedestrian safety reasons - a contention residents strongly disagree with. A department spokesman said: 'There is little evidence that street lighting would cause significant impact to the local nocturnal wildlife.' Residents have launched a petition that has gathered more than 600 signatures opposed to the erection of the street lamps, which they say are detrimental to the wildlife of the area, will ruin skygazers' view of the night sky and will add nothing to road safety as only 11 or 12 cars an hour use the roads at night. But the department spokesman insisted: 'Astronomical observations are mainly held at the main dam of High Island Reservoir, not at Pak Tam Road.' As for road safety, the department admitted there had been just three nighttime accidents along the route between 2000 and 2006. Resident Judy Love-Eastham said village representatives and the Rural Committee had originally asked for lights only at village entrances, but this plan had been expanded. 'It's just been an impasse. People are going around in circles saying the same thing,' she said. The department has proposed to reduce wattage of existing and new lights from 150w to 100w, use full cut-off lanterns and reduce the lighting levels by half after 10pm. But the residents say those measures should rightly be introduced for existing lighting, but still oppose any additional lamps being introduced.