A commuter has begun a petition in attempt to prevent the street lights being switched off at night as it puts people “in real danger”, she claims.

Alison Wagstaffe, who often catches the last Tube train home, fears for the safety of Epping Forest residents as Essex County Council prepares to introduce the money-saving scheme.

Lights will be switched off from Monday between midnight until 5am each day.

Miss Wagstaffe, 34, walks to her Russell Road home from Buckhurst Hill station after dark when she finishes work as a wardrobe assistant in the West End.

“This obviously directly affects me. I am really worried about it,” she said.

“The streets of Epping forest are in shocking condition. They are cracked, holey and steep with many raised drain covers and other obstacles. It is so dangerous.

“There has been a light out in an alleyway in Buckhurst Hill for months, just one, and that is frightening enough.

“We pay our taxes and we have street lighting for a reason.

“Nobody wants this. I really want people to sign this petition. Something must be done about it.”

Miss Wagstaffe’s bid to force the council to leave the lights on until after the last train has been supported by Councillor Valarie Metcalfe, who assured the Buckhurst Hill resident in a letter that she is on her side.

Mrs Metcalfe stated that she would be “relentless” in her efforts to see the lights left on for commuters on last trains and said the county council’s cabinet member for highways, Rodney Bass, is considering an extension.

She said: “Perhaps because he is so overwhelmed with many different requests that he will not contemplate any instant changes but wants to get the system underway.”

After an intervention by Cllr Chris Pond, the county council agreed to leave lights on along major bus routes until 1am.

To sign the petition, click here