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Broken street lights in Sturry in Canterbury leaving residents in dark

By Marijke Hall

A mum-of-five whose husband fell down steps putting the bins out in the dark warns there will be more accidents if street lights are not repaired quickly.

Lyndsey Baker, who lives in Woodside Road, Sturry, says parts of the housing estate are in darkness, with some areas so dark people have to use the torches on their phones to see when out in the evening.

The 35-year-old has reported the broken light outside her house to the council but says it is a much wider problem.

Lyndsey and Aieden Baker with the broken street light outside their home. Picture: Paul Amos.
Lyndsey and Aieden Baker with the broken street light outside their home. Picture: Paul Amos.

"People won't want to go out at night," she said. "We used to see a lot of dog walkers, but not now. It's becoming isolating."

Mrs Baker, who is a full-time carer to one of her children and her mother, says her husband Aieden fell down steps leading to the pavement outside their home, which has a street light directly outside.

"It's faulty and either flashes or doesn't work," she said.

"I had my front door open so he could see down the path and the steps because it's so dark, but I heard a bang and saw him on the floor.

"He was OK, just bruised with a smashed phone, but it's dangerous - if an elderly person delivering the parish news magazine or walking their dog hurts themselves it would be a lot worse than for a 30-year-old man."

There's concern the broken lights will lead to an increase in crime
There's concern the broken lights will lead to an increase in crime

She added: "We've had quite a lot of vandalism on vehicles in the past and this will be made worse in the darkness.

"There was a light by the park area at the end of the road but now it's so dark there you have to use the torch on your phone to see."

Roads highlighted as being particularly dark include Woodside Road, Park View, Homewood Road and Link Road.

Louise Robey, of Woodside Road, says she noticed how little light there is when she took her son Oliver out trick-or-treating.

"A lot of street lights were off," she said.

"It can make people feel vulnerable being out in the evening."

"I heard a bang and saw him on the floor..." Lyndsey Baker

Another resident, who asked not to be named, says it makes her feel unsafe with her daughter.

"If you're collecting kids from school, or families going out, or dog walkers - it is pitch black.

"It does make it unsafe; the crime rate could go up.

"We don’t go out when it’s dark but if I have to it will make me feel very uneasy."

Rob Davies, spokesman for Canterbury City Council, says the authority knows of six broken street lights that are in the roads mentioned and these are planned for repair.

"However, in light of the Gazette raising this issue with us, we are going to carry out a comprehensive night-time inspection of the area to see if there is a wider issue we're not aware of, and will then arrange any repairs that are required," he added.

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