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Attack fears over lack of street lighting in Wells

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: October 11, 2012

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Delays to repairing street lights in Wells left people more vulnerable to attack, according to a friend of one victim.

The mother of a Vicars Close resident contacted the Journal because she was upset to learn of the attack on her daughter's neighbour in the early hours of Saturday, September 29 and was concerned about the inadequate street lighting in the Vicars Close area.

She had heard that he was attacked by a group of youths who had been drinking on the Cathedral Green as he walked home in the dark. She said: "On recent visits to Wells I have noticed as I have walked down Vicars Close that there are no street lights in St Andrew Street which runs alongside the cathedral. The area is pitch black, and I, as a woman feel very vulnerable walking there. Anyone could be lurking in the shadows in wait, in fact my thoughts whenever I am cautiously walking down Vicars Close into St Andrew Street are that this is how it must have been in centuries past."

The lights were out from the end of St Andrew Street near The Liberty towards the Chain Gate Bridge, which connects Wells Cathedral to the Vicars Hall. They are also out from the West Front of the cathedral to the Chain Gate Bridge along Cathedral Green leading up to St Andrew Street.

The problem was reported to Somerset County Council by a cathedral representative in August. Somerset notified Western Power Distribution on August 10 that there was a problem with the street lights on St Andrew Street.

However, there was confusion about whose responsibility the street lights were.

A spokeswoman for Western Power Distribution, Tracy Carr, said on Tuesday, October 2: "We sent someone out on August 11. We found we only owned part of the cables and had to work with Somerset County Council contractors on site but they did not call until today.

"Some secure covers for cabling on the street light columns are missing. Somerset County Council is responsible for these.

"Western Power Distribution is responsible for the cabling up to the street light columns."

Following calls from the Wells Journal the situation has been resolved with the county council arranging for its own contractors to conduct the necessary repairs.

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