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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-03-03

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

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Outdated street lights earmarked for investment

WIRRAL Council is proposing to spend half a million pounds replacing defective street lighting columns and cabling in 2018. This additional investment is part of a package of measures aimed at addressing long standing issues with older street lighting across the borough and is essential not just in the short term, but also for the future if the council looks to upgrade the whole network with LED lighting. The £500,000 capital injection has been proposed as part of the Highway Structural Maintenance Programme and was discussed by Cabinet, on 27 February 2017. The need to replace these columns is essential as many are beyond repair and have left residents without necessary street lighting for far too long a period. The average capital investment in street lighting in Wirral has been around £60,000 in recent years, so an injection of £500,000, for 2017 to 2018 represents a significant commitment and will make a big difference to neighbourhoods.  Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Cabinet member for Highways and Infrastructure, said:- "We know residents get frustrated when they report a defective street light near their home, but don't see it repaired as quickly as they would like. In many cases this is because the repair is not as straightforward as just changing a lamp or a fuse. Often there are issues with the power supplied to the column, which is beyond the Council's control, but equally as often it is that the whole column itself is old, out of date and needs to be replaced. We recognise that the capital budget for street lighting has not enabled us to keep on top of the demand for this work, which is why for 2017 to 2018 we are proposing to invest more than 8 times as much in bringing the network of columns up to date. This is at a time when we are also carrying out a detailed value for money assessment of the whole network to investigate whether we want to replace the remaining 28,500 street lights with LED units. Modernising the lighting network will, of course, mean that fewer routine repairs and maintenance will be needed in years to come and shows that we are committed to meeting our pledge to have a transport infrastructure that is fit for the future."


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