Dad’s concern about broken bridge light

A father-of-five has warned that a broken light on the bridge at Ifield station is endangering people who try to negotiate the steps in the dark.

Michael Hewitt, 51, of Rusper Road, Ifield, reported the light to contractors SSE Contracting Ltd six months ago but was told they could not fix it for health and safety reason.

Michael said: “I asked why they couldn’t provide a temporary light and they just said they are ‘working on a solution’ but no indication of how long it will be before they have a solution.

“It seems to me it’s just going on deaf ears because I can’t see that they understand the urgency of the situation. As we enter into the winter months it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt, then they’ll have a claim on their hands.”

A spokesman for SSE said the light was “ unmaintainable” and added: “There’s no safe way of maintaining the light without putting a worker in danger.”

Michael added: “The general public should not be put in this situation. My daughter-in-law is six months pregnant and her centre of balance is all off and she has to negotiate the bridge every day as well.”

His two sons also use the bridge daily to attend their places of education. Michael said: “It’s a worry for my sons, for the elderly, for mothers with children. To me it’s despicable that a company of that size can leave it so long.”

A spokesperson for SSE said: “The light itself is on a very thin pole therefore it is categorised as unmaintainable.

“We are in talks with West Sussex County Council to replace it and going through a design process.

“It is not possible to put a ladder against the pole and we don’t want to put any operative in danger over the railway.

“We hope to get it to a resolution as soon as possible.

“We can’t put a temporary light there because there’s no way of fixing a light to the ground so it would act as a safety hazard because members of the public usually pick them up and move them around.”