Festive cheer for West Wickham as TfL perform Christmas light U-turn
PUBLISHED: 13:19 09 November 2012 | UPDATED: 15:20 09 November 2012
Christmas lights can go up in West Wickham's High Street this festive season after residents' cries of 'humbug' urged Transport for London (TfL) to reverse their call for expensive safety checks.
A new rule meaning the West Wickham Town Centre Association (WWTCA) would have to pay up to £4,000 to have lamposts tested for health and safety reasons put the light display in jeopardy for the first time in 20 years.
However, TfL found a solution to the issue at a meeting with the West Wickham Traders Association and local businesses yesterday (Thursday).
Dana Skelley, Director of Roads at TfL, said: “TfL met with local traders and representatives from the West Wickham Traders Association yesterday and agreed a workable solution that would allow Christmas lights to be installed.”
However, despite the turnaround business owners in the area are still concerned they have been left with little time to raise funds for this year’s display.
Ann Jones, of Co-Op Funeralcare in High Street, said: “We don’t get paid to put our lights up and people are passionate about it, so how dare they say that we can’t put them up.
“I think they changed their mind because people were up in arms over it, but we now have to raise the money so who knows if the lights will go up now.”
Penny Keys, owner of Party Chic in High Street, added: “It’s just another example of the smaller high streets being neglected. TfL really don’t seem to care.
“We usually open late and have entertainment for the children when the lights are switched on, and it’s a chance to get extra business in.”
Fundraising boxes for the Christmas light fund can be found at Waterways and Co-op Funeralcare, in High Street, for anyone looking to donate.