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Bright lights dim at seaside resort

PUBLISHED: 11:28 17 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:52 03 March 2010

VISITORS looking for the bright lights at Felixstowe this summer have been promised they will see some of them - but not all.

Tourism chiefs have pledged that some of the resort's strings of decorative seafront illuminations will be back in place, but say they cannot guarantee that all the work will be done ready for the season.

VISITORS looking for the bright lights at Felixstowe this summer have been promised they will see some of them – but not all.

Tourism chiefs have pledged that some of the resort's strings of decorative seafront illuminations will be back in place, but say they cannot guarantee that all the work will be done ready for the season.

Despite Suffolk Coastal's best efforts to improve the coloured lights on the promenade over the past few years, the illuminations have been beset with problems that have seen more bulbs off than on.

Traders and residents have complained about the display, which cost more than £20,000 but has never worked properly.

Last summer it was agreed to take them down and put in place new lights which it was promised would be better than ever for this season.

However, so far only the cascading neon fountain lights on top of the lamp-posts have been put up and there is no sign of the strings.

A Suffolk Coastal spokesman said it was hoped some of the lights would be in place to provide a show for the summer.

"The lights are important to Felixstowe and we are working as hard as we can to have the display back in place and better than before," he said.

"The fountains are already up and we are now working on getting the light strings in place but this work is being done in three stages. We are talking to our contractors about the timetable for the work to get it done as soon as possible."

The problems with the lights started when the traditional strings of bulbs and lanterns were replaced with hi tech new ones to provide a modern display, but also vandal-proof and more cost efficient ones.

The aim was to give the prom a livelier, extra special look, keeping it in line with other progressive coastal resorts as part of regeneration, and it should have been a marvellous display. But it soon developed mysterious faults and it was felt best to remove the lights rather than have a poor display.

The company which installed the lights on and between 41 poles from Bath Tap to Sea Road was then unable to supply replacements.

Over the past six months extensive negotiations have been taking place between the council and companies to try to find a solution.

The council has repeatedly reassured residents and seafront traders that new lights will be put in place.

n What do you think – does Felixstowe look miserable at night without is seafront lights, or is it better without them? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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