ON THE longest night of the year, campaigners took to the streets of Lydney to vent their anger at poor street lighting they say is putting residents at risk.
People living on the Oakdale estate have little choice but to walk a route from the blue foundry gates at Cambourne Place to visit shops at Lydney town centre.
But the footpath there has been unlit at night since street lights were switched off four months ago. Furious residents are demanding action is taken, following an incident where a pedestrian was knocked over by a cyclist.
As dusk fell on Saturday, families gathered for a ‘blackout’ protest and candle-lit vigil.
Resident Rachel Reeves has gathered a 130 signature petition, demanding the district council pushes estate developers Kier Homes to light up the area.
She said: “The footpath is well used by people who live in Oakdale, the only alternative is for us to walk along the A48 bypass from Chepstow to Gloucester which is not safe. The existing footpath is also in such a bad state with big potholes and lots of places to trip. Mums use it, and they are worried, particularly as it is so dark during winter. They feel vulnerable along there, but have little choice.”
Residents first brought the issue to the attention of councillors a year ago. In June, they formed Oakdale Links, an association aiming to connect people in new housing with the rest of Lydney and help build community links.
The group is also campaigning for improved infrastructure.
Lydney town councillor and county councillor, Alan Priest, said: “This has been going on for too long. The developer knows it is a problem but has yet to do anything about it. The ball is now in the court of the Forest of Dean district council, they need to be applying pressure to stop any further development of Oakdale until the lighting situation has been resolved.”
Oakdale resident Claire Vaughan said: “I was walking into town with my son and a cyclist knocked me over when I was walking along there because they couldn’t see me.
“Luckily I wasn’t badly injured, but it could have been a lot worse.”
Kier developments were unavailable for comment.