Timing fault to blame as streetlights off in Stevenage, Hitchin and Letchworth

Streetlights may not turn on when they are suppose to as a result of the clocks going forward

Streetlights may not turn on when they are suppose to as a result of the clocks going forward - Credit: Archant

Streetlights are already being affected ahead of the clocks going forward, it has been confirmed this morning (Thursday).

Areas of Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth GC and Knebworth were left in the dark yesterday evening as streetlights failed to turn on.

Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) said on Monday that some lights that are programmed to switch off between midnight and 6am may not turn on at all for one night in the week before and after the clocks go forward at 1am on Sunday, March 30.

But the problem has already surfaced, with a number of readers reporting lights being off last night, and HCC has confirmed it is a result of an ongoing timing fault which first occurred in October 2012.

Tweeting @thecome24 last night, Lily Porter wrote: “Any idea why there are hardly any street lights on in Letchworth and Hitchin? It doesn’t make it very safe as it’s so dark.”

Stevenage county councillor Robin Parker said: “I noticed myself that lots of lights were out. I also received calls from local residents who had noticed the same thing. This is almost certainly a repeat of the problem which happened in March 2013 for those areas of Hertfordshire which had at that time been converted to part-night lighting.

“Essentially, many of the photocells fitted to lights to convert them are faulty.

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“They should revert to a failsafe state of ‘on all night’ but it seems an associated fault prevents this happening as well.

“The whole part-night lighting story has been a public relations disaster for HCC and it is time they sorted it all out without further problems for council taxpayers. None of these problems would have happened if HCC had never gone down the road of part-night lighting.”

Speaking on Monday, Terry Douris, cabinet member for highways at HCC, said: “We continue to work with the contractor – Amey Lafarge – who supplied the part-night streetlight timing devices to get them to resolve this issue. We expect Amey Lafarge to fix this soon and at their own expense.

“We are very disappointed that this hasn’t been resolved by now, despite our persistence.

“We want to make residents aware of this potential issue so that if you spot that a light hasn’t turned on for one night, you’ll know why. I apologise for any inconvenience or concern this may cause.”

Faulty streetlights can be reported via www.hertsdirect.org/highwayfaults

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