Somerset

Burnham-on-Sea Christmas lights display hit over safety fears

House decorated with Christmas lights
Image caption People in Trinity Close have put on a Christmas lights display for more than 20 years

A Christmas lights display that has raised thousands of pounds will no longer collect for charity after council warnings about safety.

People in Trinity Close, Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, have put on a festive display for more than 20 years.

They have regularly used yellow cones to control parking.

Now Sedgemoor Safety Advisory Group, which consists of emergency services and local officials, have warned they could be sued if anyone fell over them.

Residents have also been told a charity collection means their display is classed as "an event" which has insurance implications, organisers said.

In a letter, quoted by local news website Burnham-on-sea.com, they said: "In order to avoid the ramifications that accompany an event...there will be no Trinity Lights display for charity this year.

"The lights will be displayed by those who do them for personal enjoyment."

Image caption Homeowners have added more lights to their displays each year

People who regularly travel to see the display have taken to social media to express their dismay.

Cindy Davies said on Facebook: "Thousands of people enjoy and look forward to this every year, a highlight of Christmas, and love giving to local charities. People should be more considerate with parking, but to ruin this is despicable."

Helen Waycott added: "If the people who want to see the lights were more considerate to road users and not stopping traffic and emergency vehicles then maybe this wouldn't have been the end result."

A spokesman for Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Council said: "We've always been pleased to support the residents of Trinity Close with their fantastic Christmas display and worked with them last year to implement permanent traffic orders to help improve the parking situation.

"As the display has grown in popularity we have provided advice...to ensure they are aware of all aspects of running a safe event.

"We would like to make it clear we have not advised the residents to change the display or to stop collecting money for charity."

Roger Flower, who lives in Trinity Close, said they had been victims of their own success.

Image caption Residents say this year "the lights will be displayed by those who do them for personal enjoyment"

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