Two road traffic collisions in Cranes Farm Road, Basildon
I am most sad to learn of two recent road traffic collisions involving pedestrians in Cranes Farm Road, Basildon, resulting in one person being seriously injured and a man tragically losing his life. My understanding is that both these incidents happened between midnight and 1am on Sunday November 30, when street lighting was turned off, and are subject to investigations by specialist Essex Police officers.
The initial police judgement is that the lack of street lighting may have contributed to these incidents, and the force has therefore asked Essex County Council to consider switching street lights back on between midnight and 5am in Cranes Farm Road and the Festival Leisure Park area. I am pleased that the County Council has agreed to this police request.
In February 2014, at one of my public meetings in Basildon, there was an extensive discussion about part night lighting. It was strongly felt that consideration should be given to creating ‘safe corridors’ to enable people working in or enjoying Basildon’s busy night life to return safely to their homes. I believe in areas with a busy nightlife open into the early hours, where many people may be making their way home on foot, we should ensure that there is sufficient lighting to enable motorists and pedestrians to see each other clearly.
I note that the Automobile Association has called for ‘the lights go back on along 40mph or faster roads in built-up areas’, stating that ‘crash investigators in inquests have consistently stated that drivers who keep to the speed limit on those roads have little or no chance of missing pedestrians that suddenly appear out of the dark’. This is an important statement, and everyone concerned about road safety in our county should seriously consider its implications.
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex