Street lights

LOCAL people can find out when street lights in their community are going to be replaced and are being urged to watch out for letters alerting them to when work will start.

They will also have a chance to comment on the replacements in advance.

The work will also bring environmental improvements to Cambridgeshire by reducing energy use and carbon outputs while at the same time cutting around £350,000 a year from the maintenance and lighting budget.

Contractors working on behalf of Cambridgeshire County Council have started work on the project which will see more than 50,000 street lights replaced and maintained over the next 25 years – but some people have missed alerts telling them when work in their area is planned to take place.

Local communities are consulted in advance of the work and that consultation will continue throughout the replacement program and a rolling schedule of work is now available on line or via a special information ‘hotline’ set up by the contractor Balfour Beatty.

County Council Cabinet Member for Community Infrastructure, Councillor Steve Criswell, said: “The development of the PFI street light replacement programme and our partnership with Balfour Beatty gives us an opportunity to make significant improvements to street lighting and community safety in Cambridgeshire.

“Unfortunately some local people have missed the information on when and where the work will take place in their local area and I wanted to remind them that they can keep themselves fully updated either on-line or via the telephone information service.

“We have already been talking to local communities about the replacement work and any areas of concern where they would want to see better lighting to improve safety, while at the same time by using the most modern lamps and control equipment available we will be able to reduce the number of columns needed in some areas, cut replacement costs and make significant saving on electricity bills and carbon output.”

For information on current and future replacement work, go to: http://www.lightingcambridgeshire.com/ and click on ‘New Lighting’

Alternatively information is available on 0800 7838 247 or via e-mail at enquiries@lightingcambridgeshire.com

Currently the County Council maintains around 56,000 street lights in Cambridgeshire. Under the PFI contract a single lighting standard has been introduced across the whole county using modern energy efficient lights.

The Government awarded Cambridgeshire around £52 million for the project. This allows the County Council to use a private contractor to do the replacement work over five years but for the Council to pay back over the full 25 years , rather like a mortgage, which has made it possible to tackle the backlog of poor lighting across the county.

Street lights will be replaced over the next five years by Balfour Beatty with the company then maintaining the network for a further 20 years.