December 31 is a night which people across the world drink, dance and celebrate as they go into the new year, but for Wendy Pater, this wasn’t the case.
After spending a lovely evening with friends near their home in Bushey, the 63-year-old was walking home and had her “world turned upside down” after tripping over a pothole in Fuller Close.
Wendy, who has slammed Herts County Council for turning streetlights off during the night, was rushed to hospital and was told she had dislocated and broke a small bone in her shoulder and might need surgery.
Speaking to BusheyNews, Wendy said: “The pain was extreme. I knew the minute I fell I had done serious damage. A lovely evening with friends turned into a nightmare – I was the only person in Watford General A&E who wasn’t drunk.”
Wendy, who has lived in Bushey for over 40 years, questioned why the lights get turned off during the night and thinks if they were turned on, she wouldn’t have fell over.
“The state of the roads in Bushey is ridiculous and I just don’t understand why they turn the streetlights off during the middle of the night. It is so dangerous. If there was light, I would have seen the pothole and wouldn’t be in the situation I am in now,” stated Wendy.
“I was walking in complete darkness which is so dangerous. I have spoken to a lot of people in the area and they say they are scared to even go out at night because its so dark. We shouldn’t have to live like this.
“I just don’t want anyone else going through what I am currently. It’s turned my whole world upside down. People are scared and so am I.
“People shouldn’t have to take small torches in their bags or pockets out with them so they can see where they are going. It is a disgrace. I can’t understand why the council haven’t done something about it.”
At the time of writing, just under 2,000 residents have signed two separate petitions to get streetlights in Hertsmere turned on until daylight which Wendy supports.
A Hertfordshire County Council Spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear about this incident, the safety and security of our residents is a key priority for us at Hertfordshire County Council. Switching lights off in the early hours of the morning is reducing our carbon footprint and saving taxpayers money.
“We have had our part-night lightening strategy in place for a number of years with minimal adverse customer feedback and no detrimental impact on crime or safety county-wide as a result.
“However, with more efficient LED lights and intelligent control systems we can make some of these savings by dimming lights instead. This means that if there are good reasons to leave the lights on longer in specific areas, and the local county councillor supports it, we may now be able to do this without increasing our energy usage.”