Call for rethink over Huntingdonshire village street light switch off

MP Shailesh Vara
MP Shailesh Vara
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An MP has called for a rethink over plans to turn off street lights in a Huntingdonshire village.

North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara has written to Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire County Council, asking him to review plans to switch off street lamps in Bury, near Ramsey at night.

Bury has been chosen as one of sixteen parishes in Cambridgeshire which will be controlled by a Central Management System. This will mean that the street lights can be controlled remotely, via mobile internet signal, and would be switched off completely for a certain period each night.

Mr Vara along with local councillor, Cllr Peter Bucknell, and John Prestage, Chairman of Bury Parish Council, are concerned about the plans and feel that there could be serious implications for both pedestrians and motorists.

Mr Vara said: “I am very concerned about the council’s plans to move Bury to a part-time lighting system which works remotely and I am working with local councillors and the Parish Council to oppose this change. Bury has a busy, winding and narrow road running through it and switching off street lights at night could pose a serious risk to pedestrians and motorists alike.

“I have written to Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire County, asking him to review the decision and I very much hope that common sense will prevail.”

Cllr Peter Bucknell said: “I was totally shocked to read the proposals to switch-off the majority of the street lights in the village of Bury and have requested justification from the County Council. Why do seventeen parishes have Central Management Systems whilst, thankfully, the other sixty seven Huntingdonshire parishes do not?”

Mr John Prestage, Chairman of Bury Parish Council added: “I am alarmed that whilst we are offered consultation, the only option is how many lights the village wishes to fund. There is to be no discussion on the designation of major traffic routes through our village – yet again the local voice is ignored as irrelevant.”