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Broken lights could put lives at risk

Jeremy Hall is campaigning to get lights fixed on the A2
Jeremy Hall is campaigning to get lights fixed on the A2

BROKEN street lamps on the A2 are posing a serious risk to road users between Whitfield and Shepherdswell.

On his route to and from work cyclist Jeremy Hall said he has counted 28 defective lamps on the A2 from Whitfield to Coldred and 55 from Whitfield to Shepherdswell.

Mr Hall of Moorwell Drive, Shepherdswell has been trying to get the lights repaired for three years but has had no success in his dealings with the Highways Agency.

He is concerned if something is not done soon someone could get seriously hurt.

“Something needs to be done before it is too late” said Mr Hall.

“There have been a lot of serious accidents on that stretch of road which goes from single to dual carriageway.

“I frequently cycle in the dark on my way home from work and I am scared the cars cannot see me.”

Mr Hall first reported four street lamps were off just before Coldred in December 2005.

Since then he has made more than 40 calls about defective lamps to the Highways Agency and InterRoute who are contracted to maintain the roads.

“It has had no effect whatsoever” said Mr Hall.

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said: “The Highways Agency is committed to safe roads and we are determined to find the right solution for lighting on the A2 near Whitfield.

“On investigating why the lights on this stretch were not working we found the fault to be a combination of the electrical cabling to the lights, which had deteriorated in some sections and ageing lanterns.

“We looked at replacing the cabling last year but took the decision not to proceed at that stage.

“We decided to investigate alternative solutions because the work would have been prohibitively expensive and would have caused unacceptable disruption for road users.

“Since then we have continued to look for solutions and will be replacing the lanterns at the Lydden junction with a more efficient, energy saving type of lantern.

“We will also investigate and replace specific sections of cable that need repair. We will be able to begin these works in the next couple of months.”

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