A resident emailed us to say:
Noticed that the lights are being switched on between 4.30pm – 6.30pm, that’s not great if you get home from work around 6.00 – 6.00pm.
Would you not get a better turn out if it was, say, between 6.30 – 8.00pm ?
Its Rayleigh Town Council that runs the lights.
Basically County Highways only allow them to close the road for a limited period, and the Town Council prefer to make it earlier so that schoolchildren can be there, both watching and singing in one of the choirs.
The High Street was packed last year – so it’s clearly popular
I work for another local authority – they are turning their lights on on a Sunday afternoon/evening (they have a whole day of activities planned). Rayleigh may have got a good turnout last year, but agree with the sender of the email, a better turnout would be expected later in the evening, or even better at a weekend. I for one, after an hours drive home, don’t really want to go out again in the evening (and probably wouldn’t be back at the current planned time anyhow), but would be more inclined to celebrate if a weekend event was planned.
I agree – why cannot the event be on say a Friday evening when the children do not have school the following day? The whole event could start later in the afternoon/early evening with the lights being switched on at around 8pm. This would allow for the road closure and also Dads (and Mums) to arrive home in time to be part of the family who want to go. Parents who are working outside of the Rayleigh area would find it very difficult to get home in time to take the kids to this type of event. Christmas is, after all, primarily the time for children, but we love it and will be there to watch the lights switched on!!
It really does seem that Rayleigh Town Council follow the ethos of RDC in ensuring that not all residents are considered when planning is involved.
Why is it that Maldon have their high street closed for several hours twice each year for their Dickensian Christmas Market? Yet Rayleigh Town Council can only have two hours during rush hour? Perhaps the Town Council should going back to Highways and say that was has been given is not acceptable.
Does the town council have to pay for a road closure? If so, maybe this is the reason why it is at an inconvenitent time for residents, but more convenient for the Town Council?