Traffic lights in disrepair

More traffic lights than usual are out of order in Athens because there is nobody to fix them at the moment, sources revealed yesterday. The contract for maintaining the traffic lights is awarded to a private company but a tender this summer was withdrawn due to technical problems. The tender was held again on October 23 and a new company is not expected to begin work until the end of the year. As a stopgap measure, the Public Works and Environment Ministry has assigned its own engineers to look after the traffic lights but they cannot keep up with the workload. «The consequences are obvious,» Stratos Papadimitriou, a transport planning professor at Piraeus University, told Kathimerini. «A burned-out bulb at a traffic light forces a driver to guess and reduces his reaction time, which is especially dangerous at night.»