Safety concerns after street lights fail in residential areas of Welwyn Garden City

PUBLISHED: 09:11 09 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:11 09 April 2018

Handside resident Malcolm Day and County councillor Nigel Quinton in front of some of the street lights which aren't working. Picture: DANNY LOO

Handside resident Malcolm Day and County councillor Nigel Quinton in front of some of the street lights which aren't working. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Failing street lights in a number of Welwyn Garden City roads have sparked complaints to Herts County Council.

ApplecroftRoad in Welwyn Garden City.
Picture: Clive WilsonApplecroftRoad in Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Clive Wilson

Residents say there have been faulty lights on Applecroft Road, Handside Lane and Elmwood.

Safety concerns were heightened after a crash at the junction of Handside Lane with Barleycroft Road, which was reported to police at 7.08pm on Saturday, March 24.

A police spokesman confirmed a silver Mercedes A150 and a silver Ford Fiesta were involved.

Road closures were put in place and a lamppost was also damaged.

ApplecroftRoad in Welwyn Garden City.
Picture: Clive WilsonApplecroftRoad in Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Clive Wilson

The ambulance service was called and someone was taken to hospital.

Resident Clive Wilson counted 12 lights out in Elmwood and Applecroft Road on March 21.

He said: “There are problems with the failing streetlights on Handside.

“They are now consistently failing, for example on the main carriageway of Applecroft Road and Handside Lane.

Handside Lane to ApplecroftRoad in Welwyn Garden City.
Picture: Clive WilsonHandside Lane to ApplecroftRoad in Welwyn Garden City. Picture: Clive Wilson

“When the failures were reported to Herts County Council they were ‘declared safe’.

“On Saturday night there was an accident on this dark crossroads.

“The street lights are very old with no visible sign of maintenance and no published plan for replacement.

“Will they be the last in the county to be replaced?

“I’m very fed up at spending an evening trying to report them.”

Mr Wilson has also found that the council website crashes when he tries to report faulty lights.

“Reporting these failures on the Herts County Council website is excruciatingly slow and the software frequently crashes.

“Is it overloaded with complaints?

“I really hope that no one was injured and that no one has to lose their life before this gets fixed,” added Mr Wilson.

County councillor Nigel Quinton, who represents Handside and Peartree, said he was told by the council that the problem was caused by the clock change.

He said: “I have yet to hear a good explanation of why our lighting should be failing due to the change from GMT to BST.

“I also fail to understand why the council seem to have assumed that the faults would eventually resolve themselves without any investigation by an engineer.

“I have asked for a review of their procedures, and that the affected lights are restored to working order as a matter of urgency.

“I have also asked how it is that the police failed to notify highways of the accident and the damage done to the street sign.

“Our public services need to be working much more closely together.”

A Hertfordshire County Council spokesman said: “Hertfordshire County Council are aware of a number of street lighting problems in the Welwyn Garden City area.

“Some of these problems are due to a manufacturing fault in the older sensor units which we only use to light areas for part of the night.

“The problem is related to the spring clock change.

“We expect that the majority of lights will return to normal operation on their own.

“Eventually these older sensor units will be removed from the network as our LED replacement project progresses.

“All other known faults have been logged and programmed for attendance by our Contractor Ringway within our specified response times.

“We would however urge residents to continue to report these faults to us if they are still persisting.

“We will then ensure our Ringway Contractors come out to check if there is another fault that has not yet been identified.”


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