COUNCILLORS have hit out at "irresponsible" highway bosses for failing to repair a road and paths ahead of the big light switch off.

Geoff and Linda Williams, Lib Dem councillors for Nethermayne ward, want to see all highways defects sorted out before Basildon is plunged into darkness between midnight and 5am.

After months of talks, Essex County Council will turn off 70 per cent of the streetlights across the borough today.

The Echo revealed last week lights will remain on for the time being at Five Links, Felmores, Langdon Hills, Chalvedon, Pitsea’s 1,2,3 estate, and Craylands, following pleas from Basildon Council over crime.

Councillors had called for assurances roads and paths would be fixed to cut the risk of accidents for motorists and pedestrians.

Mr Williams said: “We have flagged this up with the highways team at Essex County Council on more than one occasion and have received not so much as an acknowledgement of the issue. The serious point is these incomplete highways works present real obstacles to people and vehicles.

“Many residents have legitimate cause to be walking and driving at night, returning from the railway station or walking from their local garage.

“Threats to people’s physical safety alongside the security fears that the switch off will be a burglars’ charter or a muggers’ paradise, are not acceptable.

“We hope, but frankly doubt, Essex Highways will give any sort of assurance that outstanding repairs will be carried out rapidly, so local residents can be afforded some measure of comfort.”

The councillors are particularly concerned about potholes and crumbling pavements between the junctions of Great Gregorie and Ingaway, Laindon.

The path and road has been fenced off for six months awaiting repairs by Essex County Council.

A spokesman for the council said: “Essex Highways is aware of the footway defects at this location.

“These defects will be prioritised for repair in-line with the Essex Highways maintenance policy.

“At this time a date for repair cannot be provided.”