Lights on again after two-month outage

The Advertiser Series: NO MORE: Des and Catherine Kavanagh in the darkness before faulty street lights were repaired outside their house in Barnes Close, Darlington. NO MORE: Des and Catherine Kavanagh in the darkness before faulty street lights were repaired outside their house in Barnes Close, Darlington.

THE lights have come back on in a quiet Darlington cul-de-sac, after fears were raised for the safety of elderly residents in the poorly-lit street.

Des Kavanagh, of Barnes Close, in Mowden, complained that the street and neighbouring Barnes Road had suffered from reduced lighting for almost two months.

Engineers from electricity supplier Northern Powergrid ventured out in wind and rain recently, after The Northern Echo intervened on Mr Kavanagh’s behalf.

The 72-year-old grandfather had voiced concerns that one of the street’s vulnerable residents could have fallen and hurt themselves if the lack of lighting was compounded by icy pavements.

Although grateful to have had power restored, Mr Kavanagh is in the dark about why the problem took so long to fix.

He said: “There are eight or nine houses in the close, four of them have people in their 70s living there and a couple have residents in their 80s.

“We have been in near-total darkness for the past two months and it is getting to the stage where we did not dare walk the streets at night round here.”

Darlington Borough Council said the problem was an issue that had been reported to energy distribution company Northern Powergrid.

A council spokeswoman said: “The fault with the street lighting is associated with the electricity supply.

“The council notified Northern Powergrid, which is responsible for fixing the supply cable.

“The council cannot undertake repairs on the Northern Powergrid cables.”

Mr Kavanagh had feared his wife, Catherine, who recently had a hip replacement operation, may have come unstuck on dark, icy pavements.

He added: “She nearly fell over a doll that had been left in the road in the darkness and I had feared that, sooner or later, somebody is going to come a cropper.

“There was only one light working out of six and it was like that for two months.

“We had been left cast adrift, at least that is what it felt like.

“The street now looks lighter and more safe, but I still do not understand why it has taken so long to get sorted.”

A spokesman for Northern Powergrid said: “There was an issue with street lighting in Barnes Road, which has now been fixed and we apologise to everyone that was inconvenienced.”

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