LIGHTS in dingy underpasses across Basildon are still broken more than three weeks after a woman was raped in one when it was unlit.

The Echo found damaged lights at two underpasses beneath the roundabout at Roundacre, Basildon, yesterday.

It comes as councillors have called for an urgent review of underpasses across the borough.

Basildon Council is to look at the condition of all underpasses across the borough in the wake of the rape of a young woman in an underpass where the lights had not worked for three months.

Lights out: The Echo found a number of lights not working in the Roundace underpasses



The woman, 26, was raped in the underpass under Broadmayne, which runs from behind Basildon Magistrates’ Court to Basildon Crown Court, at 11pm on Friday, July 18.

She was taken to hospital with injuries after her head hit the floor during the assault.

She had been with friends at the Beehive pub in Basildon town centre and then for meal at the Moon on the Square pub.

Councillors on the authority’s audit and risk committee have asked officers to look at what could be done to improve the safety of users.


Dark: Underpass under Roundacre roundabout

Tory councillor Michael Mowe, who is on the committee, said: “What happened was terrible and these underpasses are a concern because a lot of them have not got CCTV.

“Public safety is paramount. It is quite worrying because the street lights have gone out, making things worse. It will be looked at by the risk department and then come back to the committee.

“What we would like to see is the street lights back on and vandal- proof full lighting in all underpasses. Where possible, I would have CCTV in place if we could get it monitored.”

He said the review would look at underpasses not controlled by the council as well to see if a uniform approach can be taken as some are owned by Essex County Council and Network Rail.

He added: “Network Rail keeps the lights on all the time. I was in Thurrock recently at 3am and they have kept the streetlights on around the underpasses. It is not just young people using the underpasses after a night out, but commuters as well.”