Lancashire County Council is consulting on proposals to change the way it maintains street lights following the introduction of more-reliable LED lamps.
The council has been replacing the old-style sodium lamps with LED lamps for a number of years, with around 103,000 of the county’s 151,000 street lights now upgraded to LEDs.
A further programme of investment means that almost all will be LEDs by 2021.
LED lights are expected to work reliably for around 20 years, lasting much longer than the traditional sodium lights, resulting in less need to check and fix them.
The council currently carries out routine inspections to street lights and illuminated signs and bollards once every fortnight between October and March, and once every month for the rest of the year.
It also responds to reports from members of the public received over the phone, or through the online ‘Report It!’ tool.
The council is proposing to stop carrying out night-time inspections, and move to making routine tests of street lights every 10 years, rather than every five years as it does at the moment. I
t is proposed to keep the current five-day target for responding to faults whenever they’re reported.
A consultation is being held from Monday April 23 to Sunday June 17.
County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Like many councils, we are facing an extremely challenging financial position, with a forecasted funding gap of £144m in 2021/22.
“We’re committed to providing the best services we can, and particularly to protecting services for our most vulnerable people, which is why we’re looking to save money by making services more efficient wherever possible.
“We’re proposing to change the way we maintain street lights due to LED lamps being much more reliable than the traditional sodium type, responding to any faults reactively rather than carrying out regular night-time inspections.
“However, we want to make sure we’ve considered all the potential impacts, and give people the chance to tell us if they think this will affect them, before making a decision.”
The council is proposing to save £2.1m over two years from the budget for street lighting maintenance.