Maintenance Cuts Force UK Town Not To Replace 6000 End-of-Life Lamps

Streetlight lamps will no longer be routinely replaced under cost-cutting proposals launched by Derbyshire County Council.

The council said it can only afford to replace 12,000 street lights in the next financial year after it reduced its budget for maintaining street lights by £775,000. It predicts that 18,000 street lights will go out during the year, meaning there will be no money to fix 6,000 of them.

There are 89,000 street lights in Derbyshire, and they are routinely replaced once every three or four years, depending on the type of light source. As well as the routine group-lamp replacement program, all failed lamps are spot-replaced, often within a day or so. However, budget needs in other areas such as adult social care and vulnerable children, mean the council must re-think the way they deliver services. The result is that some services will remain, some will be run differently but some will have to stop.

Deputy cabinet member for jobs, economy and transport, Cllr Dean Collins, said: ‘We’ve decided not to routinely replace light bulbs as we have been doing, but this will lead to more street lights going out when they get to the end of their working life.

‘We won’t be able to replace every light bulb when it expires, so need to know where people think we should spend the limited amount of money we do have.’

The council proposes certain locations are given priority such as main traffic routes, places with significant night time accident records, pedestrian crossings, and around hospitals or emergency services stations.

Residents Survey

The council is now consulting with residents on where street light bulbs should be replaced when they go out. In addition, they are asking residents about LED lighting. This is Question 3 of the survey;

There is a possibility that we might be able to install LED light bulbs on all our street lights. This would cost us millions of pounds, but we could make savings in the long run as LED light bulbs use less electricity, and save money on maintenance as they can last for up to 15 years.
If we were able to find the money to buy and install LED light bulbs on all our street lights we would also be able to programme certain street lights to be dimmed during the night – when most people are asleep. This would save more money on energy bills.
Q3 Would you support investing in LED light bulbs?

You can find the complete questionnaire here. The Consultation closing date is 8th August 2014.

By Julie Allen

13 Jun