There has been talk of upgrading the street lights in Stockport to shiny new LED technology for some time and the program to replace them is finally going to start this year. The good news is that Hazel Grove will be one of the areas that get the first replacements so we should see our first new lights fitted in the autumn.
LED lights use far less electricity than the old kinds that have been used before and the bulbs last longer so in the longer term the council will save money in both electricity costs and maintenance.
LED Lights are cheaper to run and maintain
Replacing the lights also means that the fittings are the latest designs as well which should mean less wasted light up into the sky and less light pollution into neighbouring houses as more of the light is directed to where it is needed.
One think to watch out for is that new LED lights can be brighter and whiter than old bulbs. In many cases this is a big benefit but not everyone likes the change until they get used to them. The council may use a softer coloured light than the pure white bulbs in quieter areas where a strong light might be intrusive but that would be balanced against safety needs as well.
To make the swap as cost effective as possible they will start by replacing older lights first especially where the posts or columns are in need of more repairs. The complete swap will take a few years and with such an expensive bill to do it it will be rather a lot of years before the savings come back.
Some of you may have noticed the street lights on the realigned A6 as you travel towards High Lane have been on all day.
“I was asked to look into why the street lights on the realigned section of the A6 were on all the time. That is a lot of lights to be on all the time and a waste of a lot of electricity, despite the new lights using energy efficient LED technology. As it happens, this time it was not a fault, just that the lights are not yet connected to the mains but this will soon be put right.” said Lib Dem Cllr Jon Twigge.
The A6 MARR team gace a full explanation:
There is some lighting yet to be installed at the north and south tie ins and also around the T junction with the new link road.
The feeder pillars for lighting and traffic signals are waiting for the mains electricity supplies so in lieu of this we have provided temporary generators at the north and south ends of the new A6.
At the High Lane end (south tie in) a generator is supplying both traffic signals and street lighting, as the traffic signals need to be on continuously so by default do the street lights. At the Hazel Grove end (north tie in) we have a generator supplying street lighting only, this was fitted with a timer so that the lights were off during the day.
The lights are all fitted with a remote switching and monitoring system which will need to be commissioned once the mains supplies are in place and then formally handed over to SMBC control.
Once the handover of the street lighting is complete, the street lights will be added into the SMBC system and will then be visible on the online form reporting page. Works in this area are ongoing and the street lighting installation in planned to be completed over the coming weeks.
Following our Streetlight campaign last Autumn, Stockport Council is in the process to install a complete set of LED lighting in Hazel Grove.
Last Autumn, local campaigner Paul Ankers & Cllr Jon Twigge reported about 40 failing streetlights and there are similar numbers across Stockport. Paul said, “Our street lights are inadequate and an embarrassment. This is much needed.”
The whole programme will take 5 years to implement & Cllr Jon Twigge wants Hazel Grove to get them first.
Cllr Twigge said, “Our ward needs to be put first by the Town Hall for once & this is an ideal opportunity. Some of our lights fail again and again.”
All Stockport’s street lights are set for a revamp to LED technology & one uniform style following pressure from your local LibDem team.
Local Campaigner Paul Ankers has reported dozens of failing lights over the last 6 months and many fail again and again. The patchwork nature of the network is unsightly too and reflects poorly on Stockport.
Paul Ankers commented, “This is much needed. The scheme is costly, but very necessary. Hazel Grove deserves better.”
Jon Twigge is demanding Hazel Grove is at the front of the queue. “There are too many broken lights in the ward and Town Hall bosses put us to the back of the queue too often”
The latest update on the Council website is now live.
You can now report street light faults more easily and track where the repairs are up to. Here is one I reported a couple of days ago:
To track your reports you need to first register for a My Account at: https://myaccount.stockport.gov.uk/Account/sign-up
Once registered you can also see a lot more information more easily, you won’t have to keep entering your details. And, you can also register to see your full council tax account details and payments.
As part of the Councillors Digital Update meetings Cllr Jon Twigge suggested getting street light reporting upgraded on the new website early. That work is almost complete and should be live in a few weeks. The new system will show much more information than the current one with a history of what has happened for each report.
There will be a new upgraded map to click on to identify the lights that are faulty – the old one does not always work very well, if at all, on mobile devices.
Local Lib Dem campaigner Paul Ankers was delighted to hear the news, “It will be much easier to report Street Light faults and keep track of them with this new system.
“One of the biggest problems was not knowing why a light was broken. Now there will be a new colour on the map, amber, when a fault has been passed to the utility company for repairs.”
The first version will be a big improvement but more will follow and Jon wants to see a GPS system, like Sat Navs use, so that the map automatically shows the street you are standing on, if you are using a smartphone, making it much easier to find a particular light to report.
A Drain reported on the A6 by Paul Ankers
A very blocked drain !
Following the floods there has been a lot of attention on drains. The examples shown here illustrate a couple of the problems. To help the public report blocked drains more easily and see when they are fixed Jon has been asking to get the drain reporting upgraded as well. The good news is that drains are now next to be upgraded after street lights – there will be a map to help report them and we should be able to see all the ones that have been reported and fixed. (The old system has a map but it doesn’t work at all).
Local Campaigner Paul Ankers has reported 23 broken street lights in Hazel Grove throughout October. Paul has delivered letters to some of the affected areas with a petition calling on the Council to tackle this high level of failures.
Paul said, “In any ward it should be a handful. This is a crisis. The Council needs to be ale to do the basics for Stockport, but lights don’t work, bins don’t get emptied… what next.”
The team have got the short term issue fixed. Street lights have been repaired on Talbot St, Chapel St, London Rd & Argyle St to name a few. But the Council need a better street lighting system in place. We will be taking this matter further!