Lighting our way by night – the Bucks Street Lighting Team
Transport for Buckinghamshire’s (TfB) Street Lighting Team looks after the 29,000 streetlights and 6,000 illuminated bollards we rely on across the county to illuminate our roads and pathways by night.
This is an update on their current work.
LED Replacement Programme
Over the course of 2018/19, the Street Lighting Team has been replacing 3,295 ‘old style’ lanterns with LED equipment. These old style lanterns have an orange light, whilst the new lanterns produce a white light. The programme will be complete by the end of March 2019.
However, a small number of the old style lanterns will temporarily remain due to issues such as the need for the entire column to be changed or the column base being sited on private land.
In addition to this, the team has also completely replaced 344 lanterns which were mounted on wooden electricity poles.
Whilst you can report street lights that are damaged or broken on Fix My Street, TfB also has a Night Scouting programme. Members of the Street Lighting Team check for outages along the strategic routes across the county, making note of lights that need any work doing to them. Six routes are covered over a three month period, and the scouting occurs on a quarterly basis.
However, if you do spot a damaged or broken street light, please do report it using Fix My Street (https://www.fixmystreet.buckscc.gov.uk/).
Use the search bar to find the road the street light is on, use the marker to pinpoint the area it is in and select the number of the street light that you are reporting. This should be used for faults that do not present an immediate risk, for example, street lights that aren’t working. In an emergency, please call 01296 382416 to report.
TfB’s Street Lighting Team has been working with manufacturing partners NAL Ltd and Traffic Management Products (TMP) to roll out a new and innovative bollard programme across the county, and have installed over 100 bollards to date. These new bollards are solar powered and have a number of benefits, including reduced energy costs and no need of underground cables, meaning they cannot be affected by power outages or damaged cables.
Another advantage of these new bollards is that they are also easier to repair – the solar powered bollards use socket mounted equipment. Currently, if a bollard is damaged or broken, it can be complicated to repair or replace as there has to be traffic management, sometimes even a road closure. However, if one of the new style bollards is damaged or needs replacing, the equipment can be changed quickly and easily. It also removes the possibility of live wires being exposed in the event of a road traffic collision.
Sometimes the problem lies with the electricity supplier
Sometimes members of the public report failed lights to us that have stopped working due to an underground electricity supply fault. If this is the case, TfB is not able to repair the fault, because the cables are owned and maintained by the electricity companies for the area, and only they are allowed to carry out repairs to their networks.
TfB works closely with the three electricity companies who have equipment within the county to resolve these issues when they’re discovered, but the repairs can take some time and be complex in nature. This is why there can sometimes be a delay in repairing a reported failed light.
Whose light is it?
The County Council are not the only ones who maintain lights within the county. Some are maintained by parish and town councils, district councils, or housing associations, and others are on privately-maintained roads. In those cases TfB will advise who can help with repairs.
Only County Council lights currently appear on the Fix My Street website – if there is no light option available on the map for the location that you are trying to report, then the light will not be ours. However, we are working with the other organisations to allow us to show their assets on our map, so that the system will then tell you who owns or maintains the light if it is not ours.
Note however that you cannot report failed lights that are privately owned, for example in gardens, on driveways or lighting commercial premises. You’ll need to contact the landowner.
Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member Mark Shaw said:
“The Street Lighting Team has been working incredibly hard on several programmes which will be so beneficial to the county when they’re complete. I understand the public’s frustration when it comes to broken lights but we work very closely with the electricity companies to make sure any issues can be resolved as soon as possible. I’m impressed with the work I’ve seen from the Street Lighting Team in the last year and know the public will reap the benefits of this.”