Rider ‘left in dark’ by street light switch-off

Sutton Bridge, John Jackson biking on section of road where lights are switched-off.  John breaks rules and cycles on paths despite overgrown hedges due close shaves with traffic.
Sutton Bridge, John Jackson biking on section of road where lights are switched-off. John breaks rules and cycles on paths despite overgrown hedges due close shaves with traffic.

A cyclist has hit out at the decision to permanently switch off street lights on his route to work.

John Jackson regularly cycles from Sutton Bridge to Warwick Stone in nearby Long Sutton and says it’s only a matter of time before someone is hurt along a stretch of road where about 17 lights have been turned off.

But officials have so far refused to back down, despite fears the move will affect even more people during the coming winter.

Mr Jackson claims the road is pitch black and he cycles on the pavement because he’s twice been clipped by car wing mirrors on Bridge Road.

Mr Jackson said: “I feel strongly that only when someone gets hurt will they (Lincolnshire County Council) say ‘we will turn the lights back on’.

“Until then the excuse of the council is ‘we have had no accidents’. I just want a little bit of light to go to work safely.”

He says there are many shift workers either walking or cycling on the path in the early hours of the morning and everyone deserves to be safe.

The big switch-off affects a stretch of road starting just east of Hospital Drove, leading towards the Princes factory.

Sutton Bridge Parish Council previously asked the county council to have a re-think, and turn the lights back on, but the county has so far refused. A county council spokesman said: “We are monitoring all of our switched off streetlights for 12 months before making a final decision on whether to leave them off and remove the columns on a permanent basis.

“The review will take into account reported crime and road safety incidents.”

But Sutton Bridge parish council chairman John Grimwood said the permanent switch-off would affect more people with so many hours of darkness in winter.

He understands the county is trying to save money but wonders, as a compromise, if the lights could be turned off from 10pm-2am so fewer people are travelling in the dark.

He said: “This isn’t good for people.”