Barking footbridge users left in dark for more than a month

Colin Newman with the street light that was broken in the background. Pic: Richard Newman.

Colin Newman with the street light that was broken in the background. Pic: Richard Newman. - Credit: Archant

Pedestrians crossing a footbridge were left vulnerable, claims a resident, after it took more than a month for the council to replace a broken street lamp.

Colin Newman, 51, noticed the lamp, which lights up the footbridge between Essex Road and Salisbury Avenue, Barking, was not working on April 1.

Despite reporting it to the council the following day and then on at least three more occasions, it was not fixed until Friday.

Mr Newman, of John Burns Drive, Barking, said: “Without the light it was very dark on the bridge at night.

“Not only did this make people vulnerable to muggings, it also meant you couldn’t see where you were going and were at risk of falling over and injuring yourself.”

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The call centre worker said it was unacceptable that the authority took such a long time to fix the problem.

A council spokesman told the Post the old lamppost needed to be lowered to the ground in order to change the lamp.

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“Because it is 10 metres down a narrow footpath, close to a wall and overhanging some steps, our regular contractor does not have the equipment to do this work,“ he added.

“Therefore we contacted the manufacturer who has access to the necessary equipment.”

Asked why it had taken weeks to sort the problem, the spokesman said the regular contractor had initially attempted to fix the issue by replacing the fuse, but this did not work.

“As a long term solution we will be carrying out a survey of lampposts near railway bridges to see if there are any other columns of this type,” he said.

“We then propose to replace the columns so that the lamps can be changed more easily in future.”

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