JUST imagine the scene, in practice difficult to picture, of one of Yorkshire’s many idyllic villages. It is pitch black, not a street light in sight. It is a cloudless sky and the Milky Way can be clearly seen as a band of light stretching from horizon to horizon. Rural Yorkshire at its best.
But an unseen danger is lurking, potentially a silent killer. In the middle of the pavement a manhole cover has been removed by a thoughtless scrap metal thief and an unsuspecting pensioner, walking his dog, is approaching the gaping hole. And don’t think for one moment that he would somehow sense that it was there. He wouldn’t. It has already happened in this country. Fortunately, although badly injured, the person did not lose his life, but he could so easily have done so.
Of course, in an ideal world street lights should be unnecessary so that the wonders of the universe can be seen above our heads as we walk our dogs at night. But as your Editorial comment “Let there be light” (Yorkshire Post, September 1) pointed out, the dangers are not far away, whether they be from speeding traffic, uneven kerbs, an opportunist burglar or mugger, and now a new menace – the removal of a manhole cover leaving a gaping hole in the centre of the pavement. This has added a new dimension to the whole issue of street lighting in rural settings. The decision should never be left to village elders who, on the whole, have the strongest feelings on the issue of street lights, even though it is the elderly who are most at risk when the lights are absent.
Walking the dog, going to and from the pub or attending some village function should not be hazardous journeys, but nowadays they could end in a fatal accident.