Councillor blasts 'horrendous' plans to turn off more Wirral streetlights

Wirral Globe: Councillor hits out at 'horrendous' plans to switch-off more Wirral streetlights Councillor hits out at 'horrendous' plans to switch-off more Wirral streetlights

A SENIOR Wirral councillor has blasted the borough's highway chiefs after what he uncovered what he describes as 'horrendous' proposals to switch off more street lights on some of Wirral’s busiest roads.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Stuart Kelly hit out at the council after he obtained a 'hit list' of roads which could see alternate lights turned off.

Oxton ward member Cllr Kelly obtained the list, of what he said was made up of mainly busy main roads, after an email exchange between highway chiefs.

The roads under threat include Woodchurch Road and Borough Road in Birkenhead, Rake Lane in Liscard and New Brighton, Leasowe Road in Leasowe and New Chester Road, which goes through Birkenhead, Bromborough and Eastham.

Cllr Kelly warned that turning alternate lights off on such roads could put the public at serious risk.

He said: "This is a horrendous hit list of busy main roads threatened with reduced street lighting, it is also a list that has been hidden from residents until now.

"It's time the council admitted failure with this policy. Back in the summer I exposed how the council had wilfully ignored risk assessments and police advice for lighting of pedestrian routes where they had turned off the lights."

The council backtracked on plans to turn off lights on some roads earlier this year after Cllr Kelly's discovery but he believes the new hit list will cause further concerns over road safety.

He said: "Wirral does not have the technology to dim or switch lights off for short periods in the dead of night like other authorities, here on Wirral they just pull out the fuse and leave pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to cope alone in the dark."

Wirral Council's leader, Cllr Phil Davies, is currently considering reducing the number of hours the borough's street lights are switched off, following letters from concerned people.

But Cllr Harry Smith, cabinet member for streetscene and transport services, said the £85,000 savings achieved by switching off certain street lights were part of a £22m cuts package forced on the local authority this year by the governing coalition.

He said: "The economies must hit somewhere. It is not something we want to do, but we are forced to do it because of our financial situation."

The roads included on the street lights 'hit list' are:

  • Woodchurch Road, Prenton. Telegraph Road, Heswall.
  • Leasowe Road, Leasowe.
  • Hoylake Road, Moreton.
  • Borough Road, Birkenhead.
  • New Chester Road, Birkenhead, Bebington, Bromborough and Eastham.
  • Pensby Road, Thingwall, Pensby and Heswall.
  • Grove Road, Wallasey Village.
  • Rake Lane, Liscard and New Brighton.
  • Birkenhead Road and Market Street, Hoylake.
  • Meols Drive, Hoylake and West Kirby.
  • Grange Road, West Kirby.
  • Column Road, Caldy and West Kirby.

Comments (15)

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12:09pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Growl Tiger says...

£85,000 would not need to be found if (a) £48,000 of our council tax hadn’t been paid out recently to an internal officer in mysterious and unscrutinised circumstances and (b) more stringent measures had been in place to prevent the Council being defrauded out of £45,000 of our council tax.
£85,000 would not need to be found if (a) £48,000 of our council tax hadn’t been paid out recently to an internal officer in mysterious and unscrutinised circumstances and (b) more stringent measures had been in place to prevent the Council being defrauded out of £45,000 of our council tax. Growl Tiger

12:19pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Llamedos 1 says...

Oh dear me, these idiots just get worse. Is there no end to the gross incompetence and idiocy from these clowns.
Oh dear me, these idiots just get worse. Is there no end to the gross incompetence and idiocy from these clowns. Llamedos 1

1:21pm Mon 2 Dec 13

WirralAl says...

Save a few quid in lights and spend a lot more solving crime.

If you want to save money turn all the lights off in the town hall and its only full of deluded nutters.

How much does it cost to have a Mayor for a year. Cut that right out!!!
Save a few quid in lights and spend a lot more solving crime. If you want to save money turn all the lights off in the town hall and its only full of deluded nutters. How much does it cost to have a Mayor for a year. Cut that right out!!! WirralAl

1:36pm Mon 2 Dec 13

JimmyMercury says...

They could also consider the £18,000 (I still don't believe that figure) they spend on firework displays each year?
They could also consider the £18,000 (I still don't believe that figure) they spend on firework displays each year? JimmyMercury

2:48pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Thepleb says...

Talking about public safety and not one councillor has addressed the proposed closure of the cctv out of hours emergency control room, the title gives you clues on what will be lost but not one of our elected officials have raised any concerns about this even though super directors have been informed of the potential risks this poses to public safety on the wirral.
No answers no clues!
Talking about public safety and not one councillor has addressed the proposed closure of the cctv out of hours emergency control room, the title gives you clues on what will be lost but not one of our elected officials have raised any concerns about this even though super directors have been informed of the potential risks this poses to public safety on the wirral. No answers no clues! Thepleb

4:18pm Mon 2 Dec 13

JohnON says...

It's obviously a fine balancing act between definitely putting the safety of the entire population of Wirral at risk by saving £85,000 on the one hand and spending £1,000,000 to address the miniscule possibility of a fire at the Town Hall on the other hand.

Pretty obvious to see where their priorities lie!
It's obviously a fine balancing act between definitely putting the safety of the entire population of Wirral at risk by saving £85,000 on the one hand and spending £1,000,000 to address the miniscule possibility of a fire at the Town Hall on the other hand. Pretty obvious to see where their priorities lie! JohnON

4:47pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Joeblogg85 says...

We all know savings have to be made somewhere. Therefore, it has to be a matter of priority. Lots of Councils across the Country are in the same boat. Wirral currently has a important public consultation out yet we seem to be hearing about cuts before the public has spoken. Having looked at other Councils cutbacks, it seems that there is not much creative thinking going on. I say this because lots of Councils seem to be doing the same things and street lighting is one of them. I would suggest that the public consultation will throw up some interesting ideas, so why act now and not wait until the suggestions are in?
We all know savings have to be made somewhere. Therefore, it has to be a matter of priority. Lots of Councils across the Country are in the same boat. Wirral currently has a important public consultation out yet we seem to be hearing about cuts before the public has spoken. Having looked at other Councils cutbacks, it seems that there is not much creative thinking going on. I say this because lots of Councils seem to be doing the same things and street lighting is one of them. I would suggest that the public consultation will throw up some interesting ideas, so why act now and not wait until the suggestions are in? Joeblogg85

5:00pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Llamedos 1 says...

The problem is Joe, as you have already identified, they don't take any notice of loaded question consultations anyway. WBC`s consultations are a scam to attempt to shut the electorate up......guess what WBC....it aint working and the idiots didn't even consult the emergency services for their opinions...priceless
.
The problem is Joe, as you have already identified, they don't take any notice of loaded question consultations anyway. WBC`s consultations are a scam to attempt to shut the electorate up......guess what WBC....it aint working and the idiots didn't even consult the emergency services for their opinions...priceless . Llamedos 1

8:22pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Holdyerplums says...

On a slightly sober note: I used to live on the Isle of Man and there they have, for many years, turned all street lights off in residential areas at midnight, the lighting on main routes however is kept on all night for safety purposes.

Initially this sounds like a charter for burglars but in reality it works well, after the lights go out the only way to get around those areas is with the aid of a torch & that stands out as does an automatic floodlight coming on in the pitch darkness - both of which seem to deter nocturnal antisocial activity..

I must say that I think turning the streetlights off at the Tesco roundabout at Bidston is madness - won't be long before someone is seriously injured or killed there (Injury Lawyers for You ???).

Holdyerplums.
On a slightly sober note: I used to live on the Isle of Man and there they have, for many years, turned all street lights off in residential areas at midnight, the lighting on main routes however is kept on all night for safety purposes. Initially this sounds like a charter for burglars but in reality it works well, after the lights go out the only way to get around those areas is with the aid of a torch & that stands out as does an automatic floodlight coming on in the pitch darkness - both of which seem to deter nocturnal antisocial activity.. I must say that I think turning the streetlights off at the Tesco roundabout at Bidston is madness - won't be long before someone is seriously injured or killed there (Injury Lawyers for You ???). Holdyerplums. Holdyerplums

1:57pm Tue 3 Dec 13

rover600 says...

I have to say I agree, turn off the **** street lights, if you live in the country there are not street lights every mile let alone every 30 feet as seems to be the case.

What I find ironic is as the council finally see some sense on a subject why does Mersey Travel deem it necessary to put in (I suspect) extremely expensive low level lighting on the on and off ramps from Birkenhead tunnel that are I would suggest next to useless, unnecessary and having fitted them they overhand the bit of curb on to the road which means they will have to now do something about that! It's folly! it wasn't needed its spending money for spending money's sake and it does not help drivers one iota.
I have to say I agree, turn off the **** street lights, if you live in the country there are not street lights every mile let alone every 30 feet as seems to be the case. What I find ironic is as the council finally see some sense on a subject why does Mersey Travel deem it necessary to put in (I suspect) extremely expensive low level lighting on the on and off ramps from Birkenhead tunnel that are I would suggest next to useless, unnecessary and having fitted them they overhand the bit of curb on to the road which means they will have to now do something about that! It's folly! it wasn't needed its spending money for spending money's sake and it does not help drivers one iota. rover600

10:56am Wed 4 Dec 13

spamfiend says...

Holdyerplums wrote:
On a slightly sober note: I used to live on the Isle of Man and there they have, for many years, turned all street lights off in residential areas at midnight, the lighting on main routes however is kept on all night for safety purposes.

Initially this sounds like a charter for burglars but in reality it works well, after the lights go out the only way to get around those areas is with the aid of a torch & that stands out as does an automatic floodlight coming on in the pitch darkness - both of which seem to deter nocturnal antisocial activity..

I must say that I think turning the streetlights off at the Tesco roundabout at Bidston is madness - won't be long before someone is seriously injured or killed there (Injury Lawyers for You ???).

Holdyerplums.
Same for me. I lived in Co. Kerry for a few years in Ireland, and apart from the small towns and villages, we had no lighting whatsoever.

One thing that stood out for me was on a clear night, the moon lit the ground but you could see every star in the sky. We saw the milky way for the very first time and could even see the planets clearly.

Obviously there are places you do need lighting such as roundabouts and busy junctions, I mean, how many people have driven on the motorways where there are no lights, but at the same time, your observational skills should play some part in your driving habits and not whether or not the lights are on.
[quote][p][bold]Holdyerplums[/bold] wrote: On a slightly sober note: I used to live on the Isle of Man and there they have, for many years, turned all street lights off in residential areas at midnight, the lighting on main routes however is kept on all night for safety purposes. Initially this sounds like a charter for burglars but in reality it works well, after the lights go out the only way to get around those areas is with the aid of a torch & that stands out as does an automatic floodlight coming on in the pitch darkness - both of which seem to deter nocturnal antisocial activity.. I must say that I think turning the streetlights off at the Tesco roundabout at Bidston is madness - won't be long before someone is seriously injured or killed there (Injury Lawyers for You ???). Holdyerplums.[/p][/quote]Same for me. I lived in Co. Kerry for a few years in Ireland, and apart from the small towns and villages, we had no lighting whatsoever. One thing that stood out for me was on a clear night, the moon lit the ground but you could see every star in the sky. We saw the milky way for the very first time and could even see the planets clearly. Obviously there are places you do need lighting such as roundabouts and busy junctions, I mean, how many people have driven on the motorways where there are no lights, but at the same time, your observational skills should play some part in your driving habits and not whether or not the lights are on. spamfiend

11:25am Wed 4 Dec 13

PaulCa says...

Have a look at BS5489 or EN13201. These are the street lighting "bibles", followed by design engineers.

There's no statutory requirement for a local authority to provide street lighting. It's a power rather than a duty. But where lighting HAS been provided in the past, the bulk of it will have been installed in line with the above British and European Standards. Flowing from that, the council then has a duty of care for road users i.e. drivers and pedestrians. They can fulfil that duty of care by keeping it operational, in line with the standards, and maintaining it when it breaks down.

There's no likelihood of them switching the majority of it off to bring urban areas into line with more remote areas of the countryside. I personally think their duty of care for road users becomes questionable when they start switching small but busy sections off, and justifying this in purely economic terms. We've grown accustomed to driving or walking in the dark in rural areas, but not in large and busy towns.

The council's own Head of Street Lighting is on the record in September 2011, stating that switching off lights would be inappropriate and would risk litigation in the event of an accident.

http://tinyurl.com/p
eqtnvx
Have a look at BS5489 or EN13201. These are the street lighting "bibles", followed by design engineers. There's no statutory requirement for a local authority to provide street lighting. It's a power rather than a duty. But where lighting HAS been provided in the past, the bulk of it will have been installed in line with the above British and European Standards. Flowing from that, the council then has a duty of care for road users i.e. drivers and pedestrians. They can fulfil that duty of care by keeping it operational, in line with the standards, and maintaining it when it breaks down. There's no likelihood of them switching the majority of it off to bring urban areas into line with more remote areas of the countryside. I personally think their duty of care for road users becomes questionable when they start switching small but busy sections off, and justifying this in purely economic terms. We've grown accustomed to driving or walking in the dark in rural areas, but not in large and busy towns. The council's own Head of Street Lighting is on the record in September 2011, stating that switching off lights would be inappropriate and would risk litigation in the event of an accident. http://tinyurl.com/p eqtnvx PaulCa

1:25am Thu 5 Dec 13

Jimrob says...

Do these politicians think we are all stupid. (Silly question I know)

Here, once again we have the old Tory trick that Thatcher used on the minors, being used by a Labour Council this time.

Let me elaborate...

Lets just say that Council Leader wants to turn off half the street lights in the Borough. He knows he will never get away with it so he turns off ALL the lights' waits for the inevitable angry response' then declares "I have listened to the people and will switch half of the lights back on"

Result?

Council Leader is now a hero to the electorate for listening to them plus he he gets what he originally wanted anyway.

Neat trick eh?

Well it would be if we weren't all sick to death of these "neat tricks"

I prefer to call it FRAUD, plain and simple FRAUD.
Do these politicians think we are all stupid. (Silly question I know) Here, once again we have the old Tory trick that Thatcher used on the minors, being used by a Labour Council this time. Let me elaborate... Lets just say that Council Leader wants to turn off half the street lights in the Borough. He knows he will never get away with it so he turns off ALL the lights' waits for the inevitable angry response' then declares "I have listened to the people and will switch half of the lights back on" Result? Council Leader is now a hero to the electorate for listening to them plus he he gets what he originally wanted anyway. Neat trick eh? Well it would be if we weren't all sick to death of these "neat tricks" I prefer to call it FRAUD, plain and simple FRAUD. Jimrob

10:05am Fri 6 Dec 13

bazersworld says...

I agree with this letter, turning off street lights is an idiotic thing to do, but what can we expect from a labour council.. These lights work in banks of maybe 50 at each switch, which does mean that entire streets can loose light. Instead of turning off entire streets, it would be better to just pull out the bulbs or tubes from every other street light. This will reduce power consumption while keeping the streets alight. As on some roads there are far too many streets lights on, especially the ones that are on all day and night.
I agree with this letter, turning off street lights is an idiotic thing to do, but what can we expect from a labour council.. These lights work in banks of maybe 50 at each switch, which does mean that entire streets can loose light. Instead of turning off entire streets, it would be better to just pull out the bulbs or tubes from every other street light. This will reduce power consumption while keeping the streets alight. As on some roads there are far too many streets lights on, especially the ones that are on all day and night. bazersworld

12:35am Sat 7 Dec 13

antisthenes says...

I don't know what all the fuss is about;switching off street lighting is entirely consistent with Wirral Council's policy of keeping its citizens in the dark!
I don't know what all the fuss is about;switching off street lighting is entirely consistent with Wirral Council's policy of keeping its citizens in the dark! antisthenes

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