RESIDENTS say they are being forced to use torches after street lights have been out of action for more than two weeks.

Street lights in King Edward Way and the surrounding areas in Witham have been without light since February 16.

Resident Janet Owen made several attempts to report the outing but the problem remained unchecked.

She was told it was “unusual” for such a big cluster of street lights to be out but wasn’t given any solutions.

Twelve days after the power went out, Essex Highways said the problem will be resolved within 20 working days, meaning the lights could be out for a nearly a month.

Janet said: “Since February 16 I have telephoned about five or six times and also have re-reported the faults on their website.

“I have been advised each time by the street lighting team that it is unusual for so many in a cluster to be out so they think it is possibly a cable break, but as yet that has not been confirmed or looked at by UK Power Networks.

“This particular area is a highly populated residential area but people are having to use torches – it’s ridiculous.

“I noticed the other evening around six o’clock a youngster, aged about ten or eleven, walking from the local shop to his house with a torch because it’s so dark.

An Essex Highways spokesman said: “There are streetlight columns out in King Edward Way and also Allectus Way in Witham.

“The problem is one of a power outage which UK Power Networks have been made aware of and are aiming to resolve within 20 working days.”

Janet said: “As this is a populated area, with many alleyways off King Edward’s and Allectus, I do find it surprising that it will take at least another month to resolve.

“Considering the adverse weather Britain has recently experienced, I would assume UK Power Networks would be incredibly busy and would not see the street lighting of particular need or importance.

“Let’s just hope they can easily fix the problem, otherwise Witham can start the 75th Victory in Europe celebrations early by experiencing the black-out.”