Campaigners unhappy with new street light switch-off arrangment

Early morning commuters could now find themselves travelling in the dark

Early morning commuters could now find themselves travelling in the dark

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

A change to the streetlight switch off hours has been described as "a total disaster".

Street lights across Epping Forest are now switched off between 1am and 6am rather than Midnight and 5am.

Late-night commuters will now have a better chance of arriving home before being plunged into darkness however those up before six o’clock will have no street lighting.

Alison Wagstaffe from Russel Road, Buckhurst Hill is campaigning to see the lights remain on after the last tube terminates in the district and before the first train leaves or to abolish the scheme altogether.

The west end wardrobe assistant, who has attracted 947 names to an online petition about the lights, said: “It’s a total disaster. I think it’s made things worse if anything.

“There are now two sets of disgruntled commuters rather than one.

“It’s definitely not a victory. I think councillors campaigning have failed.”

Teresa Cairns from Upshirebury Green set up the facebook group Light Our Streets Waltham Abbey which has 1,600 members.

She said: “I do not see the change in time as a victory, more a moving of the goal posts .

“I have grave concerns regarding the winter months with no lights until six o'clock.

“Victory I feel will only be there when our street lights are returned throughout the hours of darkness.”

County councillor for Chigwell Village, John Knapman said: “It’s a victory for Eppping Forest as a short-term remedy.

“At the moment it’s a short-term attempt to save money and not the right way of doing things.

“Using LED lights would be one option which would save energy and would start saving money after the initial expenditure.”

Rodney Bass, county council cabinet member for highways said: "I have had no complaints since we changed the time a week ago.

"If people haven't noticed the change then I suggest it hasn't affected them, like the majority of people in Epping Forest."

The streetlight switch off initiative introduced in January by Essex County Council is being rolled out across Essex in a bid to save £1.5million a year and reduce energy consumption.

You can view Miss Wagstaffe’s online petition here.

Comments (4)

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1:37pm Wed 30 Apr 14

SNGreen says...

Mr Knapman wants LED lights after a Green Party Suggestion! Maybe he is on the turn!
Mr Knapman wants LED lights after a Green Party Suggestion! Maybe he is on the turn! SNGreen
  • Score: 1

3:04pm Wed 30 Apr 14

b'hill says...

the petition wont let me sign it (there is an error with your request)...i wonder why
the petition wont let me sign it (there is an error with your request)...i wonder why b'hill
  • Score: 0

1:06pm Fri 2 May 14

MICHAEL MCGOUGH says...

Cllr Bass is a merchant banker.They don't listen to mortals.
Cllr Bass is a merchant banker.They don't listen to mortals. MICHAEL MCGOUGH
  • Score: 0

12:53am Sat 3 May 14

ceejay73 says...

1am to 6am is better than midnight to 5am for Epping Forest. People arriving back in the district between 12am and 1am are more vulnerable (i.e. tired, inebriated, less prepared with a torch) than people setting out before 6am.

Also it's less likely that muggers will be hanging around all night to catch a few early morning commuters than trying to mug drunk people after chucking out time.
1am to 6am is better than midnight to 5am for Epping Forest. People arriving back in the district between 12am and 1am are more vulnerable (i.e. tired, inebriated, less prepared with a torch) than people setting out before 6am. Also it's less likely that muggers will be hanging around all night to catch a few early morning commuters than trying to mug drunk people after chucking out time. ceejay73
  • Score: 0

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