A Horsham couple have expressed serious concerns over pedestrian safety if a streetlight is placed on the pavement near their home.
Luke and Gabrielle Harding, who live in London Road with their two young children, returned from holiday just before Christmas to discover markings for a new lamp post just outside their door at one of the path’s narrowest points.
It is part of a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to replace the region’s streetlights, commissioned by West Sussex County Council with the work carried out by SSE, formerly Scottish and Southern Energy.
However the couple have been trying to understand SSE’s reasoning behind moving the lamp post’s siting from its current location across the road, where the pavement is wider and is protected by parked cars, with no success.
There are two doctors’ surgeries in the area, accommodation for the elderly in London Road, and parents, including Mrs Harding, use the route to walk their children to nearby primary schools, with motorists already mounting the kerb regularly.
Mr Harding, who originally thought it was a joke when he was told about it, said: “Someone needs to have a look at it and give us valid reasons. Give us an alternative because this seems crazy. There’s been no consultation and no analysis of where the best place is and what effect it will have.”
He added: “There seems to be no sense in it.”
The pavement’s width is currently 1.4m at the proposed location of the streetlight, but could be as narrow as 1m if the work goes ahead, and the couple feel this would have a major impact on pedestrian safety.
They have written to Horsham MP Francis Maude and have accelerated their complaint with SSE.
A spokesperson for WSCC said: “SSE runs this contract on our behalf and has full control over where columns are located. They make a site assessment and weigh up all the factors needed to establish a safe position for the lighting column.
“SSE will investigate any complaint fully before contacting us.”
For more information on the streetlight project visit www.lightsoninwestsussex.co.uk