“Too much sun” upsets upgraded street lights

Bradley Stoke street light with photocell

The roll-out of part-night street lighting in Bradley Stoke is once again on hold after newly-fitted photocells in the lamps started to malfunction.

An upgrade programme to adjust the lights so that they would turn off for five hours a night between midnight and 6am, with the aim of saving money and cutting carbon emissions, began in early April.

Work was halted for a week in mid-April after a surge of complaints from confused residents, many of whom said they hadn’t been aware of the public consultation on the big switch-off that had taken place months earlier.

Then, at the end of April, a number of Journal readers left comments on an earlier article to report lights turning off at odd times or, in one case, failing to turn on at all for several days.

The matter was raised by a resident at the Town Council’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday 11th May, where Town Clerk Sharon Petela blamed the problems on unseasonal weather, saying:

“It’s all down to the amount of sunlight we’ve had. The time clocks can’t work out what time of the year it is because we’ve had too much sun.”

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) has now issued a statement attributing the problems to the new photocells:

Between 28th April and the 2nd May 2011 some of the part-night photocells began to malfunction. This malfunction was not restricted to South Gloucestershire and also occurred in other areas in the South West.”

“We have been monitoring the operation of the lights carefully in the days following the issue coming to our attention. We can confirm the malfunction has corrected itself and the equipment is now operating normally.”

“We are liaising with our suppliers to establish why this fault occurred, however at present the results are inconclusive and subject to further investigation. We are therefore delaying the roll-out of the next phase of the part night initiative until we can determine the cause of the malfunction and put measures in place to prevent a re-occurrence.”

“To clarify, the scheme in Bradley Stoke is currently on hold while further assessment is carried out but we would hope to resume by the end of the month. No other areas are affected. In the meantime we will continue to monitor the situation.”

General enquiries about the part-night street light scheme should be directed to the SGC StreetCare Helpdesk on 01454 868000.

Questions relating to the local public consultation on the scheme are being dealt with by Bradley Stoke Town Council.

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  1. Advice to those representatives of BSTC and SGC from one Abraham Lincoln:

    “Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

    Your contractors do know that in summer it’s sunny with longer hours of daylight? Or is this, in Network Rail fashion, the wrong kind of sunlight?

    Utter ineptitude but no more than we have come to expect from those who spend our money so freely.

    Stick to the day job please.

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