Councillor’s mission to light streets as Biggleswade ‘left in darkness’

One of the signs left in the dark. Photo: Dr Whitaker.
One of the signs left in the dark. Photo: Dr Whitaker.

A Biggleswade councillor was on a mission to light up the town, after several roads were plunged into “darkness”.

Independent Councillor for Biggleswade South, Dr Hayley Whitaker, was left worried for the community’s safety when she drove through the town and saw illuminated signs, bollards and lights were not working.

With too many to log individually, Dr Whitaker raised the issue with Central Bedfordshire Council, and says she was told that it looked like a systemic circuitry issue.

Dr Whitaker said: “I was looking round South View and noticed the illuminated street lights weren’t working, and as I drove back through the town I noticed that all the major trunk roads’ illuminated signs weren’t working either, so London Road, Hitchin Street, round the Market Square.

“There were also street lights out at the Saxon Drive/ London Road roundabout.

“I am very aware that the nights are much darker, and darker streets make people feel unsafe, and can increase the levels of crime. It also makes the roads dangerous.”

Cllr Whitaker told the Chronicle she was going to report the individual street lights and bollards to the council, but that it would have taken her a very long time.

She said: “I thought, I can’t do this, there’s too many.

“I contacted CBC and they agreed that something very significant was wrong, and they agreed to send out a scout around October 25.

“Most around the Saxon Drive area are now working, and by Monday (November 28) the illuminated signs were up and running.

“They were starting to do the London Road ones, and ones round the Market Square. The London Road illuminated signage was also working by the Monday evening.”

Speaking on October 30, a Central Bedfordshire Council spokesperson, said: “We regularly respond to reports from residents and go out at night to identify and fix any broken lights. We went out three times last week in Biggleswade to repair any broken lights that were found.

“We are aware that there are still two sign lights that need to be fixed in South View, which are due to be replaced on Friday, 1st November. It’s really easy to report a broken light to us, tell us by reporting them on our website.

“The team have confirmed that the light were old and needed to be replaced with new parts.”