Thursday, August 28, 2014
More readers are contacting The Hunts Post to say they feel their areas have been left in the dark following lamppost replacement work – and the county council has no plans to review or analyse streets where work has been completed.
Residents are instead being told to take their complaints to the council’s contractor, Balfour Beatty, which has a 25-year agreement to replace and maintain the lights.
Cambridgeshire County Council has said the project will save £1.7million a year on a potential street lighting bill of more than £5m by reducing by 10 per cent the number of lampposts in the county and replacing the remainder with new, more efficient, white light lanterns.
However, some residential streets will lose up to 40 per cent of their lampposts. And in areas where work has already taken place – such as Eynesbury, Eaton Socon, Eaton Ford, Warboys and St Neots – residents have raised concerns about crime and road safety as a result of the changes.
A spokesman for CCC said: “We have been consulting the public and, where necessary, the police, when making changes. In Huntingdonshire we have looked at places such as industrial areas when we are removing lights. We have also been talking to our partners in other authorities who have also been reducing lights, who are seeing no increase in crime, but are seeing crime reduced.”
He explained that in the interest of road safety, lighting was a priority on major roads, at junctions and areas such as outside of schools. He also added that CCC has no statutory duty to liaise with the police about the plans.
Tom Blackburne-Maze, head of assets and commissioning at CCC, said the project was funded by central Government allowing £100m of investment over 25 years, with £4m per year over the course of the contract. It is predicted that the scheme will save more than 8.5m kilowatt hours of electricity a year and reduce carbon emissions by more than 4,500 tonnes per year – a 46 per cent cut.
As for those who have complaints about the new lights, then you need to make your voices heard.
Mr Blackburne-Maze said: “People can register their concerns with Balfour Beatty in the first instance and they will look at each comment individually and respond.”
Some of the next areas of Huntingdonshire where work is to take place include Hemingford Abbots, Hemingford Grey, Houghton and parts of Huntingdon. Work begins next month.
INFORMATION: For more, including a map of scheduled street light work, visit www.lightingcambridgeshire.com. To comment, contact Keeley Russell at Balfour Beatty on 0800 7838247 or firstname.lastname@example.org.