Saturday, 13 December 2008

Fault 11: Missing lamp standards (street lights)

Cheshire County Council recently adopted the highway, even though the highway is not in the planned or dedicated position nor built to planned and approved standards. In addition to the faults I have already highlighted two of the planned lamp standards (street lights) are also missing. Lamp standards that should have been installed in 1994 at the very latest.

Cheshire County Council's Design Aid Adoption Procedure Annex states that street lighting should be in accord with their current street lighting specification.

The originally planned street lighting was in accord with their street lighting specification unfortunately someone not only forgot to install two lamp standards someone obviously forgot to check they had been installed before adopting the highway.

Cheshire County Council Street Lighting Question and Answers:

Developers for example, are now required to provide lighting on all new developments which are to be adopted and thereafter maintained at public expense.

We have lived on this new development for some time now. Why are the streetlights not yet working? Developers normally have an Agreement with the County Council to construct new roads to a standard suitable for future adoption. Streetlights are normally erected and commissioned in stages, as the estate is built. In some cases, houses may become occupied before streetlights are connected. The responsibility for the lights at this stage rests with the Developer. Prior to adoption of the new highway, the lights will be comprehensively inspected and if found to be satisfactory, ownership and responsibility will be transferred to the County Council.

Why is street lighting provided? Studies have shown the benefits of good street lighting as an aid to road safety and as a crime prevention measure. There is also evidence of the benefit of lighting in improving the amenity and commercial viability of an area.

What are the road safety benefits? It has long been recognised that good public lighting can improve road safety. In most industrialised countries nighttime accidents account for about half of all accidents, even though traffic flows are much lower at night. In addition nighttime accidents tend to be more severe.

In today’s crowded driving conditions, the driving task at night is very complex and it is essential that drivers have good visual recognition of the hazards ahead. It is not surprising, therefore, that there is strong evidence that good street lighting can cut nighttime accidents by up to 30%, giving tangible benefits to society which are much greater than the cost of the lighting itself.

How can good lighting help to reduce crime and the fear of crime? Research has shown that certain groups of people suffer a disproportionate amount of crime, in particular, households which have been victimised, women and young people out after dark and the elderly, especially those subject to vandalism and disorderly behaviour.

A common factor linking crimes committed against these groups is that they commonly occur after dark, so it comes as no surprise that research by criminologists carried out into lighting and crime has shown that targeted public lighting improvements can make the biggest impact on crime reduction.

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