Safety Concerns Arise Over Wantage Street Lighting

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Concerns have arisen among residents and local representatives in Wantage regarding what they perceive as hazardous conditions due to insufficient street lighting in various areas, prompting calls for urgent improvements.

Notable areas affected include the A417 Challow Road, where eight streetlights remain out of service, alongside Childrey Way, Sarajac Avenue, and Letcombe Hill, singled out for inadequate lighting. Moreover, West Challow, Sparsholt, and Kingston Lisle lack any form of street lighting, raising significant safety apprehensions among locals.

A district councillor for Ridgeway ward and other concerned residents have highlighted these issues, diligently reporting outages and safety worries to Oxfordshire County Council via platforms such as FixMyStreet.

The councillor stressed the gravity of the situation, particularly for pedestrians navigating poorly lit areas after sunset. “The darkness in some of these areas makes it impossible for people to see where they’re going,” they remarked, emphasising the pressing need for action to address what they perceive as a notable risk to public safety.

In particular, concerns were raised regarding the A417 Challow Road, with questions raised about whether developers or local authorities bear responsibility for the non-functional lights. Reports suggest these lights have been inoperative since 2021, leaving residents feeling vulnerable to potential accidents.

Childrey Way emerged as another area of concern, described as “extremely dark” at night, accentuated by uneven surfaces and other hazards. There are concerns that without intervention, it may only be a matter of time before someone sustains serious injury.

Efforts to tackle these issues have included lobbying Oxfordshire County Council for additional lighting. However, responses from the council have indicated resource limitations, with a spokesperson highlighting that new columns along the A417 Challow Road are awaiting activation as part of ongoing development work.

In response to queries regarding poor lighting and footpath conditions in Childrey Way, the council spokesperson clarified that additional lighting would not be feasible due to the area’s classification as a public right of way rather than a public highway.

Despite these challenges, local representatives remain steadfast in their advocacy, leveraging social media platforms to raise awareness and garner support for improved street lighting. An annotated map of affected areas has been shared, urging authorities to prioritise public safety over budgetary constraints.

The council maintains that decisions regarding new street lighting will be made on a case-by-case basis, considering factors such as necessity and public safety.

As discussions continue between local representatives and authorities, residents hope for swift action to address the pressing safety concerns affecting their community. The need for adequate lighting and infrastructure maintenance remains paramount in ensuring the well-being of all residents, particularly during the darker winter months.

In conclusion, while challenges persist in securing funding and resources for enhanced street lighting, the determination of residents and local representatives underscores the importance of prioritising public safety. As the dialogue between stakeholders progresses, there is optimism for tangible improvements in street lighting infrastructure to mitigate the risks posed by inadequate illumination in Wantage and its surrounding areas.

Dawn Jackson
Dawn Jackson
Journalist Dawn is an experienced business journalist specializing in regional coverage across the United Kingdom. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering stories that impact local communities, Dawn brings a unique perspective to her work. Through her insightful reporting, she keeps readers informed about the latest developments in various regions, shedding light on the economic landscape and entrepreneurial endeavours. Dawn's dedication to delivering accurate and engaging business news makes her a valuable asset to the News Write Ups team.

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