Front gates and wall of Alderton Mews in Loughton have been hit three times in two weeks

John Cassidy with the damage at Alderton Mews

John Cassidy with the damage at Alderton Mews

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Three cars have ploughed through garden walls this month, with two crashes blamed on street lights being switched off at night.

People living in Alderton Mews in Loughton say there have been few accidents in the last 15 years, but have now been left shaken by three crashes within days.

John Cassidy, 68, said while the first accident on January was due to drink-driving, he believes the others were the result of drivers having limited visibility on the tricky stretch of road since lights were switched of between midnight and 5am to save money.

“It is ludicrous,” he said.

“The first one was an example of how bad the road can be, but the second two were after the lights were turned out.

“I can understand the council wanting to save on energy bills, but we are a forest area. It’s different in towns, where more buildings and shops exist.

“It is pitch black up there. I suggest they leave the lights on till about 3am when there is hardly any traffic and put reflective bend signs from both directions.

“These past two weeks have been carnage like never before.”

The first incident saw a 49-year-old cut free from her car and later arrested on suspicion of drink- driving.

However, on both Saturday and Saturday after midnight, drivers hit the front walls of houses, smashing them down and sending a lamppost crashing to the ground.

Leanne Waldman, 35, is concerned about the safety of her children.

She said: “The first time I heard a massive bang but I thought it was thunder. My neighbour came and knocked on my door. There were police and fire and ambulance crews outside.
“I am really worried about being outside with my children at the moment.”

No-one was seriously injured as a result of the crashes, while one motorist drove away from the scene after hitting the wall.

Comments (16)

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4:00pm Wed 22 Jan 14

villager1 says...

I would send the bill to Cllr Rodney Bass who is responsible for the lights switch off - let's hope next time it will not be a human life
I would send the bill to Cllr Rodney Bass who is responsible for the lights switch off - let's hope next time it will not be a human life villager1
  • Score: 8

4:58pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Villagecranberry says...

What do these complainants about lights being switched off think happens on completely dark roads throughout the country?
I would blame drivers going too fast than the lights being out.
What do these complainants about lights being switched off think happens on completely dark roads throughout the country? I would blame drivers going too fast than the lights being out. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 7

7:14pm Wed 22 Jan 14

jackblack007 says...

did they put up a sign and ask for a stupid resident to answer, i know alderton mews and would ask why a 35 yr old would expect her children out there in the dark @ 12-5 am. it beggars belief , foolish foolish woman
did they put up a sign and ask for a stupid resident to answer, i know alderton mews and would ask why a 35 yr old would expect her children out there in the dark @ 12-5 am. it beggars belief , foolish foolish woman jackblack007
  • Score: 7

8:33pm Wed 22 Jan 14

escapefrome17 says...

It's another of those hysterical no lights=armageddon stories....probably drink and or stupidity involved in all three accidents, because, surprisingly, for some people apparently, all the other cars going past there seem to have managed to not run into garden walls.
It's another of those hysterical no lights=armageddon stories....probably drink and or stupidity involved in all three accidents, because, surprisingly, for some people apparently, all the other cars going past there seem to have managed to not run into garden walls. escapefrome17
  • Score: 9

7:16am Thu 23 Jan 14

pan says...

It seems very odd that those who agree with the street light switch off have appointed themselves a position where they have decided its OK to be rude and aggressive to people who do not agree with them.

As much as I know I will be called stupid and hysterical, foolish or worse I personally do not agree with the street light switch off and believe it will lead to more accidents or worse.

Bring on the abuse guys.
It seems very odd that those who agree with the street light switch off have appointed themselves a position where they have decided its OK to be rude and aggressive to people who do not agree with them. As much as I know I will be called stupid and hysterical, foolish or worse I personally do not agree with the street light switch off and believe it will lead to more accidents or worse. Bring on the abuse guys. pan
  • Score: 6

8:37am Thu 23 Jan 14

Villagecranberry says...

pan wrote:
It seems very odd that those who agree with the street light switch off have appointed themselves a position where they have decided its OK to be rude and aggressive to people who do not agree with them.

As much as I know I will be called stupid and hysterical, foolish or worse I personally do not agree with the street light switch off and believe it will lead to more accidents or worse.

Bring on the abuse guys.
I think it brings out the worse in them because the whipped up fear is ridiculous as what do yo think they do to cope in Suffolk going to the village shop say? If people want to live like moths and hang around bright lights, move closer to London and loiter around late night chicken shops where lights are plentiful. Do these people sleep with the light on?
[quote][p][bold]pan[/bold] wrote: It seems very odd that those who agree with the street light switch off have appointed themselves a position where they have decided its OK to be rude and aggressive to people who do not agree with them. As much as I know I will be called stupid and hysterical, foolish or worse I personally do not agree with the street light switch off and believe it will lead to more accidents or worse. Bring on the abuse guys.[/p][/quote]I think it brings out the worse in them because the whipped up fear is ridiculous as what do yo think they do to cope in Suffolk going to the village shop say? If people want to live like moths and hang around bright lights, move closer to London and loiter around late night chicken shops where lights are plentiful. Do these people sleep with the light on? Villagecranberry
  • Score: 2

8:57am Thu 23 Jan 14

b'hill says...

i work nights and have now had to change my work hours and may have to look for a new job, 2 women have been car jacked at the bottom of my road so far this year and 1 mugged, the light switch off may not affect some of you, but it DOES affect others! now what should i do give up my job and go on benefits? find a new job...because that's so easy?! or start carrying around weapon so i can feel save on my walk home? tell please what am i to do? cant use the torch on my phone because i don't want to advertise my phone...so [please you all seem to know whats best WHAT DO I DO!???????
i work nights and have now had to change my work hours and may have to look for a new job, 2 women have been car jacked at the bottom of my road so far this year and 1 mugged, the light switch off may not affect some of you, but it DOES affect others! now what should i do give up my job and go on benefits? find a new job...because that's so easy?! or start carrying around weapon so i can feel save on my walk home? tell please what am i to do? cant use the torch on my phone because i don't want to advertise my phone...so [please you all seem to know whats best WHAT DO I DO!??????? b'hill
  • Score: 7

9:29am Thu 23 Jan 14

villager1 says...

escapefrome17 wrote:
It's another of those hysterical no lights=armageddon stories....probably drink and or stupidity involved in all three accidents, because, surprisingly, for some people apparently, all the other cars going past there seem to have managed to not run into garden walls.
To all those that support the switch off; there is a good reason why we have health and safety legislation and why street lighting was introduced in Victorian times - to protect people from themselves and others. People do not always behave or act as they should otherwise we would not need any legislation/prison/l
egal system etc whatsoever would we? and as far as quoting the dark countryside as a model accidents in the country are usually more dangerous and fatal than those in town.
Thank you Pan for your comment those guys just do not know how to behave and that proves my point exactly - there is no accounting for people's behaviour and the more that is done to protect those at the receiving end the better and the more civilised society we will have.
[quote][p][bold]escapefrome17[/bold] wrote: It's another of those hysterical no lights=armageddon stories....probably drink and or stupidity involved in all three accidents, because, surprisingly, for some people apparently, all the other cars going past there seem to have managed to not run into garden walls.[/p][/quote]To all those that support the switch off; there is a good reason why we have health and safety legislation and why street lighting was introduced in Victorian times - to protect people from themselves and others. People do not always behave or act as they should otherwise we would not need any legislation/prison/l egal system etc whatsoever would we? and as far as quoting the dark countryside as a model accidents in the country are usually more dangerous and fatal than those in town. Thank you Pan for your comment those guys just do not know how to behave and that proves my point exactly - there is no accounting for people's behaviour and the more that is done to protect those at the receiving end the better and the more civilised society we will have. villager1
  • Score: 7

9:39am Thu 23 Jan 14

nostalgichabitual says...

To all those saying to "move closer to London and don't live in a village if you don't like the dark", coming from a fairly rural place in Norfolk hardly anywhere turns off street lights at night! I cannot think of one place in Norfolk or Suffolk that actually does switch the lights off at night, and if lights are broken it can be very dark and scary even in relatively crime free areas as whether or not people agree, there are opportunists who will be more likely to commit crime where there is a diminished chance that their identity will be recognised by anyone . I don't think that it is particularly fair that if you pay your tax you don't even have a say in whether or not there is lighting on your streets. Also the fact remains that not everyone has a nice little 9-5 job and some people do have to work overnight, especially round London where commuting is that much easier!
To all those saying to "move closer to London and don't live in a village if you don't like the dark", coming from a fairly rural place in Norfolk hardly anywhere turns off street lights at night! I cannot think of one place in Norfolk or Suffolk that actually does switch the lights off at night, and if lights are broken it can be very dark and scary even in relatively crime free areas as whether or not people agree, there are opportunists who will be more likely to commit crime where there is a diminished chance that their identity will be recognised by anyone . I don't think that it is particularly fair that if you pay your tax you don't even have a say in whether or not there is lighting on your streets. Also the fact remains that not everyone has a nice little 9-5 job and some people do have to work overnight, especially round London where commuting is that much easier! nostalgichabitual
  • Score: 6

12:53pm Thu 23 Jan 14

escapefrome17 says...

The fans of having lights glaring out all night long obviously haven't really read the story! One of these drivers was arrested as a drunk driver, another of them drove away from the scene, which would also suggest some reason for not wanting to hang around, most likely also drunk. These people would crash wether there's streetlighting or not- they're drunk and/or illegal drivers.

Lack of streetlighting has nothing to do with it but it seems to be being used almost as an excuse. The story doesn't mention the cause of the third crash, it just quotes a resident as saying it's because of the streetlight switch off, but it could really have been anything- driver drunk, on the phone, distracted, asleep at the wheel, no licence, whatever!

It's like saying if a car crashes on any unlit section of road it's automatically because of a lack of lighting, which is why I've referred to the story (note: the story, not the people) as hysterical, because it's such a knee-jerk headline.
The fans of having lights glaring out all night long obviously haven't really read the story! One of these drivers was arrested as a drunk driver, another of them drove away from the scene, which would also suggest some reason for not wanting to hang around, most likely also drunk. These people would crash wether there's streetlighting or not- they're drunk and/or illegal drivers. Lack of streetlighting has nothing to do with it but it seems to be being used almost as an excuse. The story doesn't mention the cause of the third crash, it just quotes a resident as saying it's because of the streetlight switch off, but it could really have been anything- driver drunk, on the phone, distracted, asleep at the wheel, no licence, whatever! It's like saying if a car crashes on any unlit section of road it's automatically because of a lack of lighting, which is why I've referred to the story (note: the story, not the people) as hysterical, because it's such a knee-jerk headline. escapefrome17
  • Score: 3

1:15pm Thu 23 Jan 14

HappyDucks says...

b'hill wrote:
i work nights and have now had to change my work hours and may have to look for a new job, 2 women have been car jacked at the bottom of my road so far this year and 1 mugged, the light switch off may not affect some of you, but it DOES affect others! now what should i do give up my job and go on benefits? find a new job...because that's so easy?! or start carrying around weapon so i can feel save on my walk home? tell please what am i to do? cant use the torch on my phone because i don't want to advertise my phone...so
Your fears and frustrations are completely understandable, but carrying a weapon is of course illegal and cannot be condoned, however much it can be sympathised with. It is likely that you would get into trouble yourself for carrying a weapon, or - worse still - it may be used against you by someone else.

Sadly violent crime has always been with us and always will be, so you have to do what you can to minimise the risks you run and protect yourself as best as you can if anything does happen to you.

Carry something like a decent rape / attack alarm, one with the loudest siren possible, flashing light etc. Also look for one that has a wrist strap and pin system so that it goes off automatically when the strap is pulled away from it. Practice how to use it so that you understand how it works BEFORE you go out with it. Keep it in your hand when you are walking to or from your car - it will do you no good at the bottom of a handbag or a pocket.

You are quite right to say that you don't want to advertise that you're carrying your phone in your hand, but torches are widely available - just pick a nice sturdy one with the brightest possible LED light. If it requires several batteries all the better, as it will make it easier to grip and "wield" if required. Just make sure to check and replace the batteries regularly.

Perhaps find out if there is anyone that you work with that you can car-share with; safety in numbers has a real deterrent effect.

Most importantly of all be aware of your surroundings at all times, so avoid getting distracted by playing music etc.

I would strongly urge you to consider seeking and completing Personal Safety training of some kind; it is not a matter of learning "fighting" moves but rather of how to avoid risky situations, how to recognise potential risk etc. Sometimes it's about obvious but easily overlooked things such as making sure your car has enough fuel, that you lock your car doors, check your surroundings before getting in or out of the car etc.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust run good personal safety training courses; perhaps you can persuade your employer to provide a course for all their staff ? If you get as many of your fellow employees as possible to support and present the request you will have a better chance of getting them to do it. remind your employers that they have a legal Duty of Care towards their employees and this is recognised as including personal safety, particularly of employees working late / night shifts. If not seek out a course yourself: it may look relatively expensive at first glance but it is a cheap investment in your personal safety.

At the very least read through the Personal Safety Tips section on the Suzy Lamplugh Trust's website:

www.suzylamplugh.org
/personal-safety-tip
s/
[quote][p][bold]b'hill[/bold] wrote: i work nights and have now had to change my work hours and may have to look for a new job, 2 women have been car jacked at the bottom of my road so far this year and 1 mugged, the light switch off may not affect some of you, but it DOES affect others! now what should i do give up my job and go on benefits? find a new job...because that's so easy?! or start carrying around weapon so i can feel save on my walk home? tell please what am i to do? cant use the torch on my phone because i don't want to advertise my phone...so [please you all seem to know whats best WHAT DO I DO!???????[/p][/quote]Your fears and frustrations are completely understandable, but carrying a weapon is of course illegal and cannot be condoned, however much it can be sympathised with. It is likely that you would get into trouble yourself for carrying a weapon, or - worse still - it may be used against you by someone else. Sadly violent crime has always been with us and always will be, so you have to do what you can to minimise the risks you run and protect yourself as best as you can if anything does happen to you. Carry something like a decent rape / attack alarm, one with the loudest siren possible, flashing light etc. Also look for one that has a wrist strap and pin system so that it goes off automatically when the strap is pulled away from it. Practice how to use it so that you understand how it works BEFORE you go out with it. Keep it in your hand when you are walking to or from your car - it will do you no good at the bottom of a handbag or a pocket. You are quite right to say that you don't want to advertise that you're carrying your phone in your hand, but torches are widely available - just pick a nice sturdy one with the brightest possible LED light. If it requires several batteries all the better, as it will make it easier to grip and "wield" if required. Just make sure to check and replace the batteries regularly. Perhaps find out if there is anyone that you work with that you can car-share with; safety in numbers has a real deterrent effect. Most importantly of all be aware of your surroundings at all times, so avoid getting distracted by playing music etc. I would strongly urge you to consider seeking and completing Personal Safety training of some kind; it is not a matter of learning "fighting" moves but rather of how to avoid risky situations, how to recognise potential risk etc. Sometimes it's about obvious but easily overlooked things such as making sure your car has enough fuel, that you lock your car doors, check your surroundings before getting in or out of the car etc. The Suzy Lamplugh Trust run good personal safety training courses; perhaps you can persuade your employer to provide a course for all their staff ? If you get as many of your fellow employees as possible to support and present the request you will have a better chance of getting them to do it. remind your employers that they have a legal Duty of Care towards their employees and this is recognised as including personal safety, particularly of employees working late / night shifts. If not seek out a course yourself: it may look relatively expensive at first glance but it is a cheap investment in your personal safety. At the very least read through the Personal Safety Tips section on the Suzy Lamplugh Trust's website: www.suzylamplugh.org /personal-safety-tip s/ HappyDucks
  • Score: 3

3:37pm Thu 23 Jan 14

It's good to talk says...

I have great sympathy for the people whose property have been damaged, it's going to take a lot of time and money to sort this problem. I wish them luck.
I have great sympathy for the people whose property have been damaged, it's going to take a lot of time and money to sort this problem. I wish them luck. It's good to talk
  • Score: 4

8:24am Mon 27 Jan 14

VillageIdiot69 says...

How can the lights being off cause all these crashes, don't the vehicles themselves have headlights ?
How can the lights being off cause all these crashes, don't the vehicles themselves have headlights ? VillageIdiot69
  • Score: 2

5:26pm Mon 27 Jan 14

fjl says...

The lack of lighting is not the cause of these crashes. The cause is the people behind the wheel of the cars.
The lack of lighting is not the cause of these crashes. The cause is the people behind the wheel of the cars. fjl
  • Score: 1

9:20pm Mon 27 Jan 14

BelieveBJ says...

HappyDucks wrote:
b'hill wrote:
i work nights and have now had to change my work hours and may have to look for a new job, 2 women have been car jacked at the bottom of my road so far this year and 1 mugged, the light switch off may not affect some of you, but it DOES affect others! now what should i do give up my job and go on benefits? find a new job...because that's so easy?! or start carrying around weapon so i can feel save on my walk home? tell please what am i to do? cant use the torch on my phone because i don't want to advertise my phone...so
Your fears and frustrations are completely understandable, but carrying a weapon is of course illegal and cannot be condoned, however much it can be sympathised with. It is likely that you would get into trouble yourself for carrying a weapon, or - worse still - it may be used against you by someone else.

Sadly violent crime has always been with us and always will be, so you have to do what you can to minimise the risks you run and protect yourself as best as you can if anything does happen to you.

Carry something like a decent rape / attack alarm, one with the loudest siren possible, flashing light etc. Also look for one that has a wrist strap and pin system so that it goes off automatically when the strap is pulled away from it. Practice how to use it so that you understand how it works BEFORE you go out with it. Keep it in your hand when you are walking to or from your car - it will do you no good at the bottom of a handbag or a pocket.

You are quite right to say that you don't want to advertise that you're carrying your phone in your hand, but torches are widely available - just pick a nice sturdy one with the brightest possible LED light. If it requires several batteries all the better, as it will make it easier to grip and "wield" if required. Just make sure to check and replace the batteries regularly.

Perhaps find out if there is anyone that you work with that you can car-share with; safety in numbers has a real deterrent effect.

Most importantly of all be aware of your surroundings at all times, so avoid getting distracted by playing music etc.

I would strongly urge you to consider seeking and completing Personal Safety training of some kind; it is not a matter of learning "fighting" moves but rather of how to avoid risky situations, how to recognise potential risk etc. Sometimes it's about obvious but easily overlooked things such as making sure your car has enough fuel, that you lock your car doors, check your surroundings before getting in or out of the car etc.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust run good personal safety training courses; perhaps you can persuade your employer to provide a course for all their staff ? If you get as many of your fellow employees as possible to support and present the request you will have a better chance of getting them to do it. remind your employers that they have a legal Duty of Care towards their employees and this is recognised as including personal safety, particularly of employees working late / night shifts. If not seek out a course yourself: it may look relatively expensive at first glance but it is a cheap investment in your personal safety.

At the very least read through the Personal Safety Tips section on the Suzy Lamplugh Trust's website:

www.suzylamplugh.org

/personal-safety-tip

s/
Excellent advice, I am SO against the lights going off! BUT thank you for a well worded comment...
Some ideas will stick in my mind...
I carry an alarm, and yes it is around my wrist and ready to activate! How sad, that I feel the need to do this...
A heavy torch seems to be good advice as well...for light, and as a maybe needed weapon....
[quote][p][bold]HappyDucks[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]b'hill[/bold] wrote: i work nights and have now had to change my work hours and may have to look for a new job, 2 women have been car jacked at the bottom of my road so far this year and 1 mugged, the light switch off may not affect some of you, but it DOES affect others! now what should i do give up my job and go on benefits? find a new job...because that's so easy?! or start carrying around weapon so i can feel save on my walk home? tell please what am i to do? cant use the torch on my phone because i don't want to advertise my phone...so [please you all seem to know whats best WHAT DO I DO!???????[/p][/quote]Your fears and frustrations are completely understandable, but carrying a weapon is of course illegal and cannot be condoned, however much it can be sympathised with. It is likely that you would get into trouble yourself for carrying a weapon, or - worse still - it may be used against you by someone else. Sadly violent crime has always been with us and always will be, so you have to do what you can to minimise the risks you run and protect yourself as best as you can if anything does happen to you. Carry something like a decent rape / attack alarm, one with the loudest siren possible, flashing light etc. Also look for one that has a wrist strap and pin system so that it goes off automatically when the strap is pulled away from it. Practice how to use it so that you understand how it works BEFORE you go out with it. Keep it in your hand when you are walking to or from your car - it will do you no good at the bottom of a handbag or a pocket. You are quite right to say that you don't want to advertise that you're carrying your phone in your hand, but torches are widely available - just pick a nice sturdy one with the brightest possible LED light. If it requires several batteries all the better, as it will make it easier to grip and "wield" if required. Just make sure to check and replace the batteries regularly. Perhaps find out if there is anyone that you work with that you can car-share with; safety in numbers has a real deterrent effect. Most importantly of all be aware of your surroundings at all times, so avoid getting distracted by playing music etc. I would strongly urge you to consider seeking and completing Personal Safety training of some kind; it is not a matter of learning "fighting" moves but rather of how to avoid risky situations, how to recognise potential risk etc. Sometimes it's about obvious but easily overlooked things such as making sure your car has enough fuel, that you lock your car doors, check your surroundings before getting in or out of the car etc. The Suzy Lamplugh Trust run good personal safety training courses; perhaps you can persuade your employer to provide a course for all their staff ? If you get as many of your fellow employees as possible to support and present the request you will have a better chance of getting them to do it. remind your employers that they have a legal Duty of Care towards their employees and this is recognised as including personal safety, particularly of employees working late / night shifts. If not seek out a course yourself: it may look relatively expensive at first glance but it is a cheap investment in your personal safety. At the very least read through the Personal Safety Tips section on the Suzy Lamplugh Trust's website: www.suzylamplugh.org /personal-safety-tip s/[/p][/quote]Excellent advice, I am SO against the lights going off! BUT thank you for a well worded comment... Some ideas will stick in my mind... I carry an alarm, and yes it is around my wrist and ready to activate! How sad, that I feel the need to do this... A heavy torch seems to be good advice as well...for light, and as a maybe needed weapon.... BelieveBJ
  • Score: 1

3:34am Tue 28 Jan 14

Villagecranberry says...

Just all scare mongering, those alarms are as useful as a chocolate tea pot anyhow.
Just all scare mongering, those alarms are as useful as a chocolate tea pot anyhow. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -2

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