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Lamps along The Leas, Folkestone, out of action for weeks

Victorian lamps that line The Leas in Folkestone have been out of action for weeks, prompting safety fears.

Parts of the historic Leas promenade, from the bandstand to the Metropole, has been in darkness during some of the shortest days of the year this winter. Some of the lights are not working and the cause of the problem has not yet been identified, despite engineers being called in.

Shepway District Council (SDC) said the problem would be resolved as soon as possible.

The historic Leas Lamps. Picture: Chris Davey
The historic Leas Lamps. Picture: Chris Davey

Richard Burnell, who lives in Metropole Court, said he thought it was a major health and safety issue.

Mr Burnell had also emailed direct complaints to Kent County Council (KCC) who assured him last month that the issue had been raised and was being looked into as soon as possible.

He said: “I often use the footpath in question. This is a safety hazard and walkers are at risk of either falling over or being attacked in the darkness.

“Any competent contractor should have identified the problem by now and fixed it.”

The lamps line The Leas. Picture: Gary Browne
The lamps line The Leas. Picture: Gary Browne

A spokesman for SDC said: “This problem was first reported to us three weeks ago. KCC will be carrying out repairs to these lights on our behalf. They have sent a maintenance crew to investigate but have not been able to identify the fault.

“They have now referred the matter to a specialist contractor to investigate and repair.”

The white Victorian-period lamps line The Leas from The Road of Remembrance to the Grand Hotel.

But despite their historical importance to the town, they are not listed. The SDC spokesman continued: “Both SDC and KCC take this issue very seriously and are doing what we can to ensure the lights are fixed as soon as possible.

“This is a busy time for this type of repair but we have been assured that the contractor is scheduled to make an initial visit shortly.

“We have not had any reports of criminal behaviour in this area. Any such behaviour should be reported to the police.”

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