Big switch off leaves Rasen residents feeling ‘unsafe’

Councillor Bunney said he has  received a number of complaints regarding Rasens lights being  switched off EMN-170417-162614001
Councillor Bunney said he has received a number of complaints regarding Rasens lights being switched off EMN-170417-162614001

A Market Rasen town councillor has claimed residents feel ‘unsafe’ when streetlights are turned off.

Coun Stephen Bunney raised the issue at Market Rasen Town Council’s monthly meeting.

He said he had received a ‘number of comments’ from people who felt unsafe when Market Rasen’s street lights were turned off as part of a County Council cost-cutting project.

Coun Bunney told the meeting that he feared ‘accidents are waiting to happen’.

Speaking after the meeting, Coun Bunney told the Rasen Mail: “I have received a number of comments from residents about how they feel unsafe when the street lights are turned off.

“The issues are worst in those areas away from the main roads.

“The particular concerns are walking home at night after midnight and also from people who walk to work for the 6am shift.

“Other householders are concerned about their property.

He also said some residents were calling for a ‘compromise’ which would see some street lights left on.

Coun Bunney added: “Many people are asking if a compromise could be introduced - turning off two out of every three lights for instance.”

A highways spokesperson said: “This option was considered, but not pursued.

“The human eye does not generally react quickly when moving through alternating areas of light and dark, which can lead to difficulties for the partially-sighted and can distract motorists.

“I want to reassure people that evidence suggests that our approach to part-night lighting is safe and leaves the majority of road users unaffected.

“These changes have been in place in some parts of the county for almost a year now, and there has been no noticeable impact according to Lincolnshire Police.

“In fact, other authorities, such as North Yorkshire and Warwickshire, have seen significant decreases in crime as a result of similar changes.

“We will not be changing our street lighting policy at this time, but the county council will monitor any effects the changes to street lighting have.

“We’ve committed to carrying out a review within a year of the project being complete, looking at actual crime and road safety stats, in addition to looking at ways we can address the concerns of individual businesses or resident groups.”