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Fury as Lancashire Street Light Maintenance Cut by 50%

John Freeman

Lancashire County Council have now cut the routine maintenance and testing cycle of Street Lighting by 50 per cent right across Lancashire, to the dismay of Lancaster's Labour councillors. The council has also decided to stop all night time inspections of Street Lighting, with inspection only taking place during the day.

The decision was taken at the Lancashire County Council, Cabinet Meeting 8th November 2018 and followed the Transport Asset Management Plan Report on the same agenda, which stated that there was a "deterioration" in street lighting.

This will result in the ending of night inspections of street lights, illuminated public safety and traffic road sign when the lights are supposed to be on, and a cut to the routine maintenance and visual structure inspections of lighting from five years to once every 10 years.

Over a million people live in Lancashire and only 99 people responded to the proposals, which the current Conservative Administration considers an acceptable response to their plans - but Labour says this has to be considered a failure in the council's ability to engage with the public in a meaningful way.

Complaints about the lighting system across Lancashire are increasing corresponding with the nights getting darker, according to the Labour Group.

Cllr Erica Lewis, Labour Highways and Transport said “The Conservative claim they are spending more money on the roads, but the reality is they are cutting road safety and endangering local people. They claim austerity is over but following a 6% increase in council tax, this is a clear demonstration that local people are paying more for less. 

“This is a completely false economy. Everyone knows that if you do not maintain equipment properly, not only will it break down more often, but the cost of repairing it goes up. Resulting in more and more street lights being shut down permanently as the funding will not be there to repair them."

“The loss of lighting will not only affect road safety, it will also create a sense of unease amongst many members of the community. Especially the elderly and parents who worry about their children being out after dark."

"The complaints regarding the brightness of lights and failures will be ignored as they will not inspect at night. People will be kept in the dark when it comes to street lighting as this administration has been deliberately creating barriers to meaningful consultation and scrutiny of their austerity cuts."