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Fears over street lights switch off
FEARS have been raised about crashes and crime on a dark road now that street lights have been permanently switched off.
Lights on the C100 Wycombe Road, which runs from Marlow Bottom to the M40 Handy Cross roundabout, have been turned off during a three year trial. Now, council chiefs have decided to remove the 30 lights for good.
Nigel Douglas, landlord of the Three Horshoes pub in Wycombe Road, said: " I think it's the wrong place to do it. I understand they're trying to save money but it's a dangerous road.
"It's just crazy, I think someone needs to watch how fast the cars come down here overnight then decide.
"Many of my customers have written or called the highways department about it, there's a hell of a lot of concern.
"People see or hear near misses down here all the time.
"There's very likely to be more accidents."
The pub, in the heart of the dark zone, has been hit by burglars and Mr Douglas said neighbours and other businesses in the area are worried about crime, after also suffering in recent years.
Larisa Tasker, who runs the Willow Fields stables, which is virtually opposite the pub, said: "There's been so much crime up there and for me I think it's a matter both of safety and security."
There have been a number of break ins at the stables in the last three years, with various items stolen and lock gates broken, she said. She believes the darkness is a factor.
Mrs Tasker said she and her colleagues are constantly hearing screeching tyres or witnessing near misses.
One crash causing two casualties was recorded during the trial, whereas there were none prior to it.
But darkness was not listed as a factor.
Marlow Bottom Residents Association Chairman Peter Borrows has previously expressed concerns about road safety.
He said: "They (residents driving from Marlow Bottom) have been very concerned about going up there themselves towards the three Horshoes, that worries people."
Marlow Bottom Parish Council and Little Marlow Parish Council expressed concerns during the consultation.
Inspector Ray Wilks does not believe the crimes that have happened are due to the street lights switch off but issued this advice: "People who are worried about should consider their own security for individual premises. "Sensor lights and the lighting in their own premises are far more important than street lights."
The council said all sites had been investigated on their own merits. The switch off has already saved hundreds of thousands of pounds and is expected to save nearly £500,000 up until 2016.