SHOPPERS are literally being left in the dark after a well-used supermarket carpark has plunged into darkness.
It has prompted fears from some that the upper levels of the car park at the Asda Eastgate store in Basildon could become a haven for crooks preying on vulnerable shoppers parking there.
Stan Dyson, 68, from Laindon, left his car at the car park in daylight and was shocked to return to his vehicle to find it consumed by the shadows.
He said he even had to be guided from his space by his wife, as he was unable to see what was behind him and young children were with their mother at a car parked nearby.
When he reported the issue to Asda staff, on December 19, they told him despite regularly raising the issue nothing has been done. And, when Mr Dyson returned to the store on December 29, the car park was still in blackness.
Mr Dyson said: “On these dark nights, from around 4.00 pm, it’s reminiscent of a dodgy looking car park in an American crime film where you’d think ‘I wouldn’t park in that dimly lit place for fear of being mugged or having my car robbed’.
“It’s like a mugger’s paradise. Not only that but it’s so dark in the far end that even with reversing lights on you just cannot see what you may be reversing into.
“The Asda guy told me that he was aware of the situation and said he regularly chases up the maintenance team, but nothing happens.”
Mr Dyson said when he was accompanied to his car by security staff from the supermarket, they counted that every single light on the left hand side of level three was completely out.
The Echo also visited the car park and, as shown by our pictures, the make and model of cars could barely be distinguished.
But a spokesperson for Asda said the problem was due to bulbs having gone out and insisted the store is on top of the issue.
She said: “We're aware of the issue and are working hard to get it fixed as soon as we can.”