Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Cyclist, the Broken Streetlights and a Chain of 25 Emails; Still in the Dark: Cyclist Jeff Sinclair on Waterloo Bridge Where He Has Tried Repeatedly to Have the Broken Streetlights Fixed without Success

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Cyclist, the Broken Streetlights and a Chain of 25 Emails; Still in the Dark: Cyclist Jeff Sinclair on Waterloo Bridge Where He Has Tried Repeatedly to Have the Broken Streetlights Fixed without Success

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID WILLIAMS

WHEN cyclist Jeff Sinclair almost hit a pedestrian on Waterloo Bridge heblamed it on a string of out-of-order streetlights.

This had left a 100-metre section of the road in darkness, so he tried to havethe faulty lights fixed to ensure they didn't cause an accident.

But after three months, nine more nearmisses and an exasperating exchange ofmore than 25 emails with officials in three different organisations, the lightsare still broken.

Mr Sinclair, 32, from Herne Hill, first alerted Lambeth council to the problemin an email on 30 October.

An official replied the lights were the responsibility of Transport for Londonand so forwarded the message to them.

Then a TfL contractor emailed Mr Sinclair, denying the organisation wasresponsible, and passed the problem onto Westminster council.

Days later, Westminster emailed him to say it too had investigated andconcluded the lights were not its either. In fact, they belonged to Lambethafter all.

Mr Sinclair, a corporate finance worker who cycles to his office near Regent'sPark, said: "Since October I have been emailing, phoning, filling in forms andspeaking to engineers almost every day and still it is pitch dark in the middleof Waterloo Bridge. What am I meant to do next? This bridge is a danger."Today, Lambeth insisted the lights were TfL's responsibility but TfL deniedthis.

Finally, Westminster admitted it was to blame. Transportation director MartinLow said: "To complete this essential maintenance work a traffic managementorder is required to close off part of the road, which involves gettingpermission from TfL and the police. We are awaiting confirmation from them toenable our engineers to carry out this work next Tuesday. We sincerelyapologise for the length of time this has taken."

THREE-MONTH BATTLE

30 October Mr Sinclair emails Lambeth council about faulty lights. Hiscomplaint is sent on to officials including Richard Godfrey and Raj Bami. MrBami emails complaint to Malcolm Honor at Transport for London. Mr Honor tellsJohn Carmen (of TfL contractor Ringway Jacobs) to forward email to Westminstercouncil, saying it is not TfLs responsibility. …

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