Shine a light on street lamp policy

Street lights not working on the Bawbee Bridge, Leven (Photo by Walter Neilson)
Street lights not working on the Bawbee Bridge, Leven (Photo by Walter Neilson)

A community activist has claimed Levenmouth people are being treated like second-class citizens over Fife Council’s street light inspection policy.

Ken Haig, a member of CLEAR Buckhaven, is calling on the authority to revive regular inspections of darkened street lights and road signs, while he believed a new system of encouraging the public to report them was not working.

Mr Haig, of Buckhaven, said he’d gone online recently to report many lights being out in streets around Levenmouth, and Glenrothes, while highlighting apparent delays in repairs.

Lights in Glenrothes also seemed to be getting priority over repairs in Levenmouth, he added, prompting feelings of ‘second class’.

Fife Council said the regular inspections had been stopped while a new energy-efficient investment programme, ‘Light Fife Green’ was under way, although checks still did take place on an ad hoc basis.

The public was also being encouraged to report faults.

Defective lights outside homes were reported promptly, said bosses, but individual lights out on traffic routes were rarely noted.

Mr Haig said he understood the budgetary constraints on Fife Council, but public safety should be paramount.

“I believe ensuring our streets and roads are safe for both pedestrians and road users is a top priority,” he said.

“The public should not feel trapped in their own homes, frightened to go out because of their street lights being out and they should not be making it easier for criminals to operate without fear of being seen.

“While I support the investment in new energy efficient lighting, it does seem premature of the Council to have abandoned inspection at the start of a programme of lighting renewal.”