THE future looks bright for towns and villages across Wirral after the council pledged to replace outdated street lights.
Wirral Council is proposing to spend £500,000 replacing defective street lighting columns and cabling next year.
This additional investment is part of a package of measures aimed at addressing long-standing issues with older street lighting across the borough.
Authority chiefs say it 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 capital injection has been proposed as part of the Highway Structural Maintenance Programme and was discussed by cabinet on Monday.
The council said the work was essential as many lights are “beyond repair” and have “left residents without necessary street lighting for far too long a period”.
More than 1,500 streets lights or illuminated signs are currently not working. The average capital investment in street lighting in Wirral has been around £60,000 in recent years so an injection of £500,000 for 2017-18 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to the column, which is beyond the council’s control, but equally as often it is that the whole column itself is old, out-of-date and needs to be replaced.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 2017-18 we are proposing to invest more than eight 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.”
There are a total of 42,330 street lights or illuminated bollards or signs across Wirral...
Of these, 1,599 are currently not working – 3.8% of the total
384 are damaged due to vandalism
200 are due to cable faults
307 general repairs are currently being assigned for repair by our contractor
708 units have been already been condemned and will be replaced