MP receives assurances that council is 'on the case' over village's faulty streetlights

A worried village resident is calling for action on the number of streetlights out in her part of north Shropshire as the county council struggles to hit repair time targets.

Overton Road, St Martin's. Photo; Google
Overton Road, St Martin's. Photo; Google

Gwyneth Morgan, says stretches of road in St Martin's have become so dark that she has to use her car headlights on full beam to be able to turn into corners in the village.

"It is crazy and it is lethal," said Mrs Morgan. "The issue has been going on for over three years - so many people have been complaining, our councillors have had lots of reports."

Mrs Morgan claims that around 15 lamps are out on the Overton Road which leads to the giant Gledrid roundabout on the busy A5.

"I have been living here for 10 years and the situation with street lights has been going on for three years now. When people take their dogs out for walks at night they can't see a thing.

"When I try to turn into the garden village I have to use full beam headlights - which I know you shouldn't with oncoming traffic - but it's impossible to see the kerbs because the lights are out.

"It is pitch black and it really is bad."

She added that she is "terrified" for students at the school on the busy B5070.

"There are narrow pavements and there is some heavy traffic using that road. It is very, very scary," she said.

"Whether it needs and accident for them to take action, I don't know.

"But they should stop procrastinating and do something about it, get it fixed.

"If the problem in getting parts from China, perhaps they should buy the parts from companies in this country."

The issue of broken streetlights has been taxing the St Martin's Parish Council. A meeting in November heard that after two years of reporting faults along Ellesmere Road, Shropshire Council had eventually started to repair these.

The minutes reveal that "However, a series of lights from the Roundabout by Stans Superstore to the school along Overton Road, which were reported two months ago are still waiting for Shropshire Council’s contractors KIER to deal with these."

The issue has been raised with the council by North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan who has been assured that the council is "on the case."

Ms Morgan said: “I have spoken to the parish council and several residents about this issue and raised it with Shropshire Council on their behalf. The council have assured me they are on the case.

“Functioning lighting makes a real difference to how safe people feel, particularly with the long dark nights at the moment, so I’ll be monitoring the situation to make sure they’re fixed as soon as possible.”

A spokesman for the council says there have been an "unprecedented number of emergency call-outs" which has interrupted contractor workloads.

The council says its five day fault repair targets are are now taking nearer to 15 working days (excluding weekends).

A Shropshire Council spokesman said: "Due to the high number of street lighting faults being reported at this time of year, in certain circumstances our contractor may be unable to meet the five-day fault repair target.

"Current times to complete repairs are nearer to 15 working days in some cases due to an unprecedented number of emergency call-outs which has interrupted pre-arranged workflow patterns."

But the spokesman asked residents to "please be assured that our contractor is making every effort to meet the 5-day repair target and we thank you for your patience and understanding."

The council says if people have already reported a fault to the council it will be looked into. Reports of new faults should be made to the FixMyStreet app.

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