Pensioner calls for street light switch-on

Street light

Street light - Credit: Archant

A PENSIONER has called for streetlights to be switched on at night in her estate as she and her elderly neighbours feel they are in danger.

Shirley Winter, 78, of Field Crescent, Royston, has repeatedly written to Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Police about the need for lighting near the junction of Field Crescent and Newman Avenue.

Many streetlights in Royston and across Hertfordshire are turned off between midnight and 6am as part of a controversial scheme introduced by the County Council last year to save £600,000 a year on electricity.

Mrs Winter said: “I’ve sent letter after letter but I never get an answer from the council. A lot of elderly people live on our estate and we are in despair about this.

“I had to wait outside for an ambulance at 2am to take my husband to hospital, and when the paramedics arrived they couldn’t see a thing.

“It’s scary and dangerous not being able to see what’s going on outside your own home, we have to leave the landing light on at night. I’ve spoken to several of my neighbours who feel the same.”

Mrs Winter has met with Royston’s county councillor Fiona Hill and the town’s neighbourhood sergeant, Jon Vine, about getting the lights switched on.

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She added: “All it needs is one light to be switched on at the corner of Newman Avenue and Field Crescent, then we’d be able to see where we’re going.”

A formal review of the street lighting policy will be carried out later this year, and Cllr Hill said: “I am constantly carrying out my own review of the street lighting in the town, and logging calls I get from residents.

“In this case its not possible for me to get the lights switched back on without the support of the Chief Inspector of Hertfordshire.”

Sgt Vine said: “We haven’t seen any increase in anti-social behaviour or other incidents in that area since the lights were turned off. If anything crime has gone down, so we wouldn’t be able to justify switching the lights back on.”