Streetlight Turn Off: Southampton is being kept in the dark

4 Apr 2024
Southampton Civic Centre

After a few days away over Easter, I arrived back in Southampton at the National Express coach stop on Burgess Road at 1:30am yesterday. As I left the University’s Highfield campus on foot, the roads became darker, and it became more difficult to see. And then it became clear in the murk – the streetlights were off.

With the lights off due to Council cost-saving measures, the uneven pavements became more difficult to negotiate, as did some of the bins on the footpath, which had no doubt been left due to the confusion caused by the current unacceptable delays to waste collection. It had been raining and of course that meant that a number of blocked drains with their telltale pools of dark water could also be made out in the darkness.

My nocturnal walk home signalled a return to some of our familiar problems.

The problem with potholes on roads and pavements reflects the fact that Southampton spends less per head on road maintenance than comparator Councils. Poor road surfaces also affect new developments, such as the Glen Eyre Quietway, which we think is completely unsuitable as a cycling route. Interestingly, the Council did, for a while, turn the lights up at night along this road so concerned were they about safety.

You can also read about our priorities for the forthcoming local elections here. We must restore confidence in the management of basic services such as waste collection, while nothing will be improved without restoring financial stability and improving revenue generation.

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