'You can't see a thing': Safety fears over dark street

Marcus Moore says the issue of faulty streetlights in White Woman Lane continues to cause safety concerns 

Marcus Moore says the issue of faulty streetlights in White Woman Lane continues to cause safety concerns - Credit: Danielle Booden/Contributed

Faulty streetlights which have left pedestrians in "total darkness" have prompted fears over night time crime. 

White Woman Lane in Sprowston has been "pitch black" in the evenings leaving people feeling afraid when walking alone.

Other faulty lights have recently been reported in Cere Road and Windsor Park Gardens. 

Sprowston Town Council said a lighting contractor was instructed to attend the White Woman Lane lights in July after complaints were made by Marcus Moore, who lives in Barkers Lane nearby.

But the problem persists with neighbours still commenting on how dark the street is. 

Darkness on White Woman Lane in Sprowston as the streetlight remains off at night 

Darkness on White Woman Lane in Sprowston as the streetlight remains off at night - Credit: Marcus Moore

Gemma Barden, whose home is just off White Woman Lane, said: "It’s very dark between the traffic lights and the roundabout. I wouldn’t feel comfortable or confident using that road at night.

"You can’t see a thing. The trees makes it seem even darker as well.

"I just think it’s unsafe for anyone to be walking or cycling when it’s that dark, especially near a main road. Me and my husband did mention how dark it was." 

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Town councillor Martin Callam, who represents the Sprowston west ward, said the council does check the lights and all reports are followed up. 

He added: "The council generally deal with all complaints. One can understand the concerns if there is a problem but the issues are dealt with." 

Mrs Barden said there had been reports of "a few characters" hanging around near the entrance of Windsor Park Gardens near the faulty lights. 

One of the faulty street lights on White Woman Lane in Sprowston. Picture: Danielle Booden

One of the faulty street lights on White Woman Lane in Sprowston. - Credit: Danielle Booden

She added: "A lady was chased by two men when the lights were working so you can imagine the worry now they aren’t working." 

Mr Callam encouraged anyone with concerns for their safety to call the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

The councillor said he would be visiting the lights himself in response to the complaints. 

Mr Moore, who has dyspraxia, said he felt unsafe walking alone in the dark after returning from the Let's Rock music festival on Saturday evening. 

His bus stop is near the faulty lights in White Woman Lane. 

What the town clerk has said

Sprowston town clerk Guy Ranaweera said two faulty lights on White Woman Lane were repaired shortly after Mr Moore reported them to the town council in July.

Mr Ranaweera added: "It appears they recently became faulty again, as lights unfortunately sometimes can do - especially as the nights draw in and streetlights are on for longer.

"Our lighting contractor has been instructed to attend and I expect these lights to be repaired in the next few working days.

"We monitor the frequency of faults on our streetlights but are reliant on the public to report malfunctions to us. If a streetlight develops a persistent problem we will investigate and look at replacing it if necessary." 

The town clerk urged anyone who notices a faulty streetlight with a Sprowston Town Council sticker on it to report it to the Council office on 01603 408063.

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