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Campaigner asks council to see the light over controversial street light measures

Yolanda Laybourne from Bexhill, who is campaigning for a change to the county counci'sl street lighting policy.

Yolanda Laybourne from Bexhill, who is campaigning for a change to the county counci'sl street lighting policy.

EAST Sussex County Council (ESCC) has faced further criticism on Bexhill’s reduced street light measures with one angry resident claiming the scheme is ‘flawed’.

Yolanda Laybourne joined campaigners fighting to get the council’s cost-saving street light cuts - that sees many of the towns streets without any lights between 12.30am-5.30am - changed.

Ms Laybourne, who is also Bexhill Rail Action Group (BRAG) treasurer, said she is becoming increasingly frustrated by East Sussex County Council’s (ESCC) apparently lack of understanding of the concerns people raise over the scheme and the answers given when questions are asked.

Yolanda regularly corresponds with ESCC and said: “The council just has a stock reply to everything and says it has had very little response from residents.

“We know that isn’t true because a petition with hundreds of signatures from people opposing the scheme was given to the council.”

She added: “The consultation for this flawed scheme was a complete failure, with ESCC coming up with all kinds of flimsy excuses as to why the ‘consultation’ failed to include the leafletting of households, profile inclusion in the council’s Your County magazine, or any kind of properly-organised extensive diffusion of information for residents to consider whatsoever!”

Both in her role as treasurer for BRAG and as a regular traveller from Bexhill station Ms Laybourne says the impact on the street light cuts has made a massive impact on commuters. She said: “Instead of responding to our questions, ESCC only repeats endlessly what we already know, and what we are asking the council to address - that it has switched off Jameson Road’s street lights between 00.30 and 05.30, which is very silly, because the switch-off does not take into account the arrival of the last train in, or the first trains out.

“And, yes, we already know (all too well) that the lights remain on in Sea Road and Bolebrook Roads, but we are trying to get the council to understand that these are not sufficient to light Jameson Road for those walking from/to the last train in and the first trains out.” Yolanda said she was amazed when a senior ESCC officer, who works on the scheme, stated that he was not sure how to calculate a walking distance radius from Bexhill station. She said: “A straw poll came up with the unanimous answer of 350-400 yards/metres - and so it’s hardly rocket science.

In response ESCC said: “We recognise that both residential and road lighting does have a very important role to play and we have evaluated the most appropriate way forward in each town with a view to making sure we continue to provide lighting when and where it is most required.

“Every area has been planned so that the majority of people do not have to walk more than the length of their road in darkness, although that may mean that people may have to alter their route. We have consulted with the emergency services and the Road Safety Team who did not raise any specific issues or concerns with the proposals for this area.

“While the lighting in Jameson Road is switched off between 12.30am and 5.30am the street lights in Sea Road, at the western end of Jameson Road, and the lights at The Jameson Road/Bolebrook Road junction remain on all night. Lights in other streets around the station are also switched on during the night.”

 

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