RESIDENTS were plunged into darkness after street lights were cut down without warning.

Four lampposts in St Dominic Road and in St John’s Road were taken down by Essex County Council engineers over the last week, leaving residents without an explanation.

Paul Smith, borough councillor for St John’s, said representatives should have been informed before action was taken on the concrete posts.

“It came very much out of the blue,” Mr Smith said.

“This is at a time when nights are getting darker and when the lights are needed more.

“The last thing we want is for someone to trip and fall because they are having trouble seeing where they are going.”

An Essex County Council spokesperson said: “Essex County Council has reduced the height of a number of street light columns in Colchester which were identified during routine structural and electrical testing as being structurally unsafe.

“To prevent the risk of collapse and ensure the highway remained safe for pedestrians and motorists, the decision was taken to ‘cut and cap’ the columns.

These will be replaced in due course.”