Light switch off caused my fall, claims Rasen resident

Around 700 street lights across the county will need replacing after it emerged they had been fitted with a temporary bulb.
Around 700 street lights across the county will need replacing after it emerged they had been fitted with a temporary bulb.

A Market Rasen resident is calling for ‘something to be done’ after claiming a decision to switch off streetlights caused him to fall in the dark.

Lincolnshitre County Council recently turned off some lights in Market Rasen as part of a cost cutting measure.

Mowbray Godding, 59, says he was walking home on a Friday evening after the lights were switched off at midnight, leaving him in ‘complete darkness’.

Mr Godding said: “It was pitch black. I couldn’t see a thing.

“My foot slipped off the side of the kerb and I fell.”

Mr Godding said he sustained cuts to his face, hands and knees - and believes he also experienced concussion.

He said: “I think I must have been knocked unconscious briefly, or at least was concussed.

“I must have picked myself up and got home - but I don’t remember anything from between when I fell and when I was home.

“It’s the older people living here that I’m concerned about and something’s got to be done.”

The County Council’s Highways department confirmed part-night lights had been switch off across Lincolnshire between midnight and 6am.

Richard Hardesty, the counci’s senior project leader, said: “We’re sorry to hear about this incident. The council has seen its budget reduced by more than £100m over the last few years and we simply can’t afford to do everything we have done in the past.

“Streetlights are expensive and many of them do not need to be on during the small hours of the morning. By turning these lights off at midnight, we can save money without affecting the majority of road users.

“It’s also worth noting that there are significant areas of the county, including residential areas, which have never had street lighting and have not had any significant problems as a result.

“Anyone who chooses to use an unlit road or footpath needs to assess the possible risks and take whatever action they deem necessary to mitigate them.”

Mr Godding said: “I could have been there for hours - no one would have seen me.”