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Councils warned on street light switch offs as OAP is killed

The move by local authorities to switch off and dim down street lights has been called into question after a pensioner was killed by a car in Buckinghamshire. Coroner Richard Hulett said he ''strongly urged'' Buckinghamshire County Council to review its policy during an inquest into the death of Margaret Beeson.

More lighting needed
The 76-year-old widow was hit by a car on the A40 between Gerrards Cross and Beaconsfield in January. But Mr Hulett – who recorded a verdict of accidental death – said there should be no criticism of the driving of motorist Phillip Galligan, who was travelling below the speed limit. He said: ''The driver had no chance at all. Had there been more lighting, it would be very likely he would have seen Mrs Beeson.

Cutting light pollution and maintenance
Mr Hulett said: ''I fully understand the council''s policy of switching off high maintenance and high cost, potentially polluting lights, but there have to be exceptions.

''But when we have got somebody dead in the road, it should be taken as a sign all is not well.

''At this time of the evening in the winter there are any number of potentially at-risk or vulnerable people who might be along that section of road as pedestrians who might come unstuck as a result.

''A fatality flags up the concerns and I would ask this is revisited to see if solutions can be found.''

Mrs Beeson's son told the Bucks Free Press after the inquest: ''In light of this incident, the policy needs to seriously review its policy to help prevent our tragic loss happening in the future. The lighting would have had a major impact on the incident.''

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