A BRIGHT idea to light up footpaths and cycleways will go a long way towards improving the public's health, just ask Tamworth councillor Mark Rodda.
Three years ago, Cr Rodda proposed a network of solar-powered lights be installed across the city's most popular walkways to encourage health, fitness and safety.
The notoriously dark Scott Road footpath and Peel levee have now been lit up, with plans to brighten up more of the region's walkways in the not-so-distant future.
The sensor lights pick up movement and automatically become brighter as you approach, and then go dull when there's no one using the path.
Cr Rodda said he hopes the project will encourage residents, visitors and those keen for a walk or exercise to get outdoors outside of daylight hours, especially after a scorching summer day.
"I was really pleased because I can see the merit in it, attracting people after dark for either exercise or recreation is going to really enhance the ability of locals and visitors enjoying themselves on some of those paths," he said.
The solar lights will soon illuminate Calala Lane, but Cr Rodda would also like to see them installed in Westdale, and across the broader region.
"The addition to the lighting on the levee bank, there were some there historically, now we've just filled in some of the gaps," he said.
"I'd also like to see it repeated on the path that extends from Peel High out to Westdale, I think that would be a good project to encourage those people to make better use of that path, and as a region that has issues from obesity with health and fitness, I think this is a good step in the right direction."
The project was funded with a federal government local infrastructure fund, and was installed by local contractor Ardina Electrical.
President of the Tamworth Bicycle User Group Greg Johnstone said the new lighting is a fabulous resource and was already proving incredibly popular with the region's bike riders.
"I saw them turn it on this week and I must have seen ten runners on Scott Road," he said.
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