Street lighting

Street lighting improvement scheme

As part of a two year project we are replacing 8,000 lamp posts and installing 12,000 new light bulbs for the borough's Street Lighting Investment Project. Brand new state of the art Light Emitting Diodes (LED) lights will be installed and the borough's oldest concrete and steel lamp columns will be replaced with new steel ones.  

The £8million investment scheme has been awarded to May Gurney (Cartledge) Ltd, the council's current street lighting contractor. The project aims to improve street lighting so that travelling through the borough after dark continues to be safe and easy.

Your questions answered:

How is the project being funded?

The money is being taken from the council’s ‘Invest-to-Save’ fund set aside for projects that have the ability to pay for themselves in future potential savings. In 8 years the project will have paid for itself and then will deliver savings from the more energy efficient Light Emitting Diodes light bulbs.

Is every street light in the borough being upgraded?

Just under half of the borough’s 27,000 street lights will be affected by the update, either having a column replaced, an LED light installed, or both. You can view the list of roads with concrete columns due for replacement, as part of the improvement scheme.

Will the lamp post be repositioned?

Generally the lamp posts will simply be removed and exchanged for a new steel column in a similar position. This will be to the rear of the footway, according to council policy (were both possible and feasible), and may result in lamp columns being moved closer to the boundary of your property. Should complications arise (for example, co-location of utilities pipes and cable) lighting columns will be relocated to the most suitable position.

How long will workmen be on my road?

A letter will be sent to you just before work commences on your road giving details of what will be carried out. The time spent on your street will depend on the extent of the work that has to be done on the road. In a typical road we would hope the work would be completed within ten working days. In some cases the existing cabling may require UK Power Networks to be present, which may cause delays.

How much notice will I receive if works are going to be carried out on my street?

You will be sent notification at least a month before the contractor’s arrival on your street. You will then be sent a further reminder letter with more detail about the works that will be taking place. Once the work is completed you may complete an online survey so that you can give us feedback on the improvements.

What if the light is too bright and floods onto my property?

LED light is a more directional rather than spherical glow so this problem should not occur. Although there is the potential for this light to have a higher intensity of brightness, the new infrastructure also means lights can be dimmed remotely from a central system. We would recommend a trial adjustment period of a couple of weeks once the new light is operational. If after that time you still consider the new lighting is adversely affecting your property we may be able to fit a device to shield out some of the light. If you feel this is necessary, please go to and provide the asset id (a stencilled number on the column shaft) with a request for a shield to be fitted.

You installed new street lights, why are they now day burning?

After being installed, all the lamp columns are synchronised with our central control unit which will help us respond to faults faster in the future.  While lamps are awaiting this synchronisation the lights have a default setting to stay illuminated to ensure they are safe at night. Synchronisation can take up to 3 working days.

Why are you digging a hole next to the existing lamp column?

Most of the new lamp columns in our invest-to-save programme are installed adjacent to the existing unit which allows the electricians to transfer the electricity supply from one to the other before the old column is removed.

Why have one or two columns not been replaced; have they been missed?

Where space is at a premium due to the location of paths, driveways or underground utility apparatus the new column has to be installed in the same hole as the existing one. As this requires the installers and electricians to be on site at the same time these columns cannot be included in the main programme as they require additional co-ordination between teams, the work will be arranged as soon as possible.

You’ve replaced all the concrete columns but left the steel columns

The first stage of our invest-to-save programme involves the replacement of the old concrete columns with the new LED lighting stock.  The steel columns haven’t been forgotten, they will be converted to LED lighting at a later stage of the programme.

A further phase of the project targets replacement of older steel columns in the borough, this phase will target only those individual columns which our records show are the oldest.

The original light will be transferred to the new column and this will mean the old and the new column will be temporarily out of light until the transfer of the electricity supply has been completed. If you happen to notice two columns side by side then this is the reason, these columns do not need reporting as being out of light as we are aware of the situation.

You can view the list of roads of older steel columns due for replacement as part of the improvement scheme.

Why has the work not been completed within the allocated ten working days?

The contractor’s electricians cannot work on all cabling and some of the work must be undertaken by UK Power Networks (UKPN). UKPN prepare their own programmes of work although we would expect most work to be completed within 6 weeks of ordering. 

Customer satisfaction survey

If you live in a  road where the street lighting has been improved please complete our customer satisfaction survey.