New light for alleyway steps

Steps along an alleyway which has been in darkness for a number of years are to be lit up again, after Northumberland County Council agreed to install a new light.

Disgruntled Edward Reid, from Alnwick, recently brought the issue to the attention of the Gazette, complaining that the light on stairs from Roxbro Place to Bondgate Within, along Pickwick Lane in the town, has not been working for five years.

He told the Gazette that County Hall staff had said that because of its location, the light was too dangerous to repair.

But after we contacted the council last week, the authority has said that work will be done to resolve the issue and bring light to the area once again.

A county council spokeswoman said: “The historic location of this ageing street light presents considerable challenges in terms of accessing it and carrying out a safe and suitable repair.

“We have to prioritise repairs across the whole area but have now been able to commission some work here.

“This will involve installing a new light rather than replacing the old one.”

She added: “An exact start date hasn’t been confirmed yet but it is expected that this work will be carried out in the New Year – which will avoid inconveniencing shoppers in the run-up to Christmas.”

Mr Reid, who lives at Windsor Gardens, was raising the issue on behalf of a friend who lives near the steps along Pickwick Lane – which is between Alnwick Studio and Flowers by Julie – and has been impacted by the lack of light.

“It is pitch-black and the situation has been shocking,” said Mr Reid, who used to work for the county council’s street lighting team.

He added: “I was in the trade myself and I know fine well that it is a difficult site because it is on the stairs. But there was nothing to stop them putting scaffolding up there.

“It would have taken half-an-hour. It is ludicrous and the county council has a duty of care. But I am over the moon, especially now that the winter is here. I will be counting down the days until it is done.”