Skaters left in the dark by council

Bill Orrell, left, and a group of youngsters at Whitby's skate park
Bill Orrell, left, and a group of youngsters at Whitby's skate park
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Skaters in Whitby have voiced their discontent after the borough council turned out the lights on the town’s skate park.

The outdoor facility on West Cliff has been left unlit of an evening for most of the last seven weeks after the council replaced floodlights at the park.

Since the old lights – which skaters claim always worked without any problem – were substituted, their replacements have been either out of use or turned off, leaving the park unusable once darkness falls.

Local skateboarder Bill Orrell told the Whitby Gazette: “It’s frustrating that we have this well-used facility that is particularly popular with young people, yet it is impossible to use it outside of daylight hours.

“By the time kids have finished school or people like me have left work, it’s dark so we can’t skate.”

Mr Orrell said that he has been left “annoyed” by the council’s apparent lack of interest in rectifying the problem. He revealed that it took weeks of phone calls before they acknowledged the issue.

“After nobody got back to me and nothing changed with the lights I started to call every morning,” he added.

“Still nobody seemed interested and it was only when I mentioned that I was going to contact the local newspaper that something happened.

“Within 10 minutes someone from the council called me back and promised the lights would be back on by the end of the day and indeed some of them were.”

Two of the skate park’s four lights were back in working order earlier this month, but less than a week later they were out again. At the time of going to press, the park remains unlit of an evening.

Jeremy Carter, the borough council’s Energy Manager, blamed the problem on fuses in the new light fittings and promised a swift solution.

He said: “The LED lighting was installed in mid-September and initially worked well. However, since then we have had to send our lighting contractor back to the site several times because the lights haven’t been working as they should.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to users of the facility and thank them for their patience while we have been working to find a solution.

“The consumer unit has been tested and found to be in full working order and we have narrowed down the problem to the fuses in the light fittings. New fuses are being fitted by our contractor today (Thursday) and they will be put through a comprehensive test to ensure we have completely solved the problem.”