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Anger over Wirral’s street lights blackout as cyclist crashes into unlit gate
WIRRAL'S street lights blackout has been blamed after a cyclist suffered injuries when she rode into gate on an unlit public cycle / footpath.
Lisa Madden was cycling along the pathway near Seacombe SpacePort – designated for bike riders and pedestrians - on her way to a fitness club on the night of Monday, January 13, when she crashed into he closed gate.
The teacher was "sent flying" and sustained injuries to her chest and thigh.
Husband Steve told the Globe he learned about the accident when he called Lisa’s mobile to find out where she was and heard her in distress.
He went to the scene and noticed nearby streetlights had been switched off as part of the council’s cost-saving strategy.
He also saw no signs indicating that a gate was there or why it was closed to pedestrians.
Dark and dangerous. Would you notice the closed gate?
The council said it is looking into the incident and will respond to the couple.
Steve, who works for Merseycare buses, said: "I hadn’t heard from Lisa, so I gave her a call to find out if she was all right.
"When she answered, she sounded shocked.
"It's horrendous, the area's not even lit.
"I'm not even sure why the gate's there or why it was closed. It's so dangerous.
"You're riding along the unlit path and can't see the gate as it blends into the background.
"We’ve spoken to Streetscene and have yet to receive their response."
The sign indicating pathway for pedestrians and cyclists.
Wallasey Conservative councillor Leah Fraser said: "The council really need to get their act together.
"Ever since they announced switching off our street lights I’ve said there could be a nasty accident and now, sadly I’ve been proved right.
"Mrs Madden could have been killed. Putting up a barrier across a cycle route without some sort of warning is irresponsible.
"To switch off lighting so you can’t see it is reckless.
"If the council are continue to reduce our street lighting they need a proper strategy in place taking into account the concerns of the police and local residents and business needs."
Lib Dem councillor Stuart Kelly, who highlighted the issue of unlit footpaths back in August 2013 said: "This is exactly the issue of risk that I raised with chief executive Graham Burgess last year.
"It is sad that an accident like this has had to happen to force the council to look at some of the safety issues involved.
"Once again I call on Cllr Harry Smith to abandon this reckless switch off policy on footpaths, cycle ways and roads."
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