NOT SUCH A BRIGHT IDEA?
CONCERNS have been raised that new LED street lighting which has been installed in Skelmersdale is not bright enough and could lead to an increase in accidents and street crime.
Pensioner Margaret Huyton contacted the Champion claiming that the new lighting doesn’t provide adequate illumination for pavement areas and homes.
And she says fellow pensioners might be reluctant to venture out after dark for fear of being mugged, while the situation could also pose problems for youngsters coming home from school with the nights beginning to draw in.
Sixty-eight-year-old Margaret, from Cornbrook, Holland Moor, says she has even seen people walking around with torches because the street lights are not strong enough.
She told the Champion: “The new LED lights only light up in front of them and don’t cover all of the pavements. Most of the lights face on to the road and they don’t go back to illuminate front doors as the old lights did. The old lights covered a bigger area.
“Pensioners may now be afraid to leave their home for fear they may get mugged because of the lack of lighting.
“Children walking home in the dark may not be able to see where they are going either under these new lights and people who are not sure on their feet could be prone to tripping.
“I was out the other night and saw people walking round with torches because the street lights are not strong enough! It has become more noticeable recently as the nights draw in.
“In some areas, cyclists have to use the pavements and, now because of the LED lights, you are not aware of them until they are almost on top of you. Someone could get knocked down or injured.
“I did make enquiries to the council and they told me that the lights are turned down in summer and the brightness is turned up in winter.
“I know these LED lights are supposed to save money, but is safety being compromised here?”
It’s claimed that LED lights can be as much as 50% more energy-efficient compared to normal yellow sodium lights and keep going for up 20 years, instead of two to five.
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council responded: “We have an ongoing programme to replace all of the old-style sodium lamps with LED lights which use just 30% of the power, and have a life of around 25 years, whereas the sodium ones need to be replaced every four years.
“The unusual design of streets in parts of Skelmersdale, where there are some very wide paved areas, means we have had to think carefully when installing the new LED lamps to ensure the best distribution of light, and we are reviewing this in some locations.
“We’d be grateful if people could get in touch if they have concerns about particular locations so that we can consider them as part of this work.”