Chay Blyth residents in the dark as council removes street lighting

RESIDENTS in Chay Blyth Place are being forced to use torches after a number of street lights were removed, plunging the area into darkness.

And as the dark nights begin to creep in the situation isn’t likely to improve for at least the next month with a temporary solution still to be found.

Scottish Borders Council revealed the lighting columns were removed because they were “structurally dangerous” and could have caused serious injury to passers-by.

But due to budget constraints, the local authority was unable to say when permanent replacements would be erected.

A spokesperson said: “This whole area is included in SBC’s public lighting improvement plan. However it will take several phases to complete due to the capital budget allocation.

“We will install a temporary solution until the new works begin. Due to legislation it’ll take 28 working days to get the public utility details.

“Once this has been processed, the temporary works will proceed.”

But local councillor Stuart Marshall, who was alerted to the problem by householders, said the situation wasn’t good enough and feared the lights would not be replaced for some considerable time.

He told the Hawick News: “I think it’s appalling that columns were taken out in this area with no clear decision being reached as to where, and most importantly, when new ones will be erected.

“When visiting this area a few nights ago it’s no wonder residents (many elderly) are angry that they are having to use torches to negotiate their way down flights of stairs etc.

“If we are to wait on utility companies then past experience tells me we might be in for a long haul.

“It really is not good enough and the residents in this area deserve better.”

The SBC spokesperson said most of this year’s capital money is being spent in Hawick to address serious problems in the Stirches area of the town.