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Street lighting

As highway authority, the council has a legal responsibility to maintain 21,200 street and subway lights together with 3,300 illuminated signs, bollards and zebra crossings.


What we do

  • Every week: Inspect subway lights to ensure most fittings are working correctly and test the height detector sign in South Ruislip.
  • Every year: Clean and replace all lamps (non LED) in illuminated signs, bollards, zebra crossings and school patrol warning lights.
  • Every six years: Electrically test all lights, illuminated signs and bollards etc.
  • Clean and replace Lamps: Every three to six years depending upon the type of lamp.
  • Structural inspection and testing: Columns over 15 years old are currently structurally inspected and tested to ensure they are safe.

All new lighting is installed to comply with the current edition of the British or equivalent European Standard and to minimise light pollution such as sky glow.

We will endeavour to keep lights and signs free from obstruction by trees and foliage.

Who is responsible for which lighting

We are responsible for the lighting on all of the Public Highways in the borough excluding the motorways and A3113 Airport Way (which are the responsibility of the Highways Agency); The A4, A30, A40 and A312 (which are the responsibility of Transport for London). We also look after the lighting columns in the borough's public car parks.

Street light emergencies

Items that are an emergency:

  • damaged lighting column, bollard or illuminated sign.
  • illuminated bollard not lit and no flashers fitted.
  • door or inspection cover open or missing from lighting column or illuminated sign leaving wires exposed at ground level.

For the above emergencies only, please telephone our Environment line 01895 556 000 (if out of hours 01895 250111) and we will attend to make safe within four hours of the problem being reported.

If you witnessed a vehicle causing the damage, we may be able to trace the vehicle owner if we have the registration number, the make, model and colour of the vehicle. Please provide any information you have at the time of reporting. The cost of the repairs may then be recovered.

Street lights not working or on during the day

We aim to attend to defects within five working days. However, occasionally a light may be out due to a fault or failure of the electricity supply. We report these to our electricity supplier to restore the power; this can take up to five weeks for the power to be restored and often requires excavation in the footway.

Most street lights are controlled by photoelectric cells and these cells are designed to be fail safe by leaving the light operating all the time. We do not undertake inspections to detect 'dayburners' but reporting it helps us. These lights do use additional electricity but it is no additional cost to the council.

Report street lights on during the day
Report street lights not working

Trees obscuring lighting columns or signs

If you have a tree in your garden or a hedge that is affecting the efficiency of a lighting column or sign, please keep it trimmed. As well as keeping the lantern clear, we also need to access the base of the column and to be able to inspect the whole of the column to ensure it is structurally sound.

If we discover a problem such as this, we will write asking for the tree to be trimmed. If no action is taken, an enforcement notice may be issued under Section 154 of the Highways Act 1980 which allows the owner charged for the work.

Report it

Request a lighting improvement

If you feel that the lighting on a road is in need of improvement, let us know. Your request will be added to our database and when funding is made available for improvements these requests will be considered.

Note: It may be a number of years before the schemes are implemented due to the demand and the limited resources for improvements.

Request it

Each year we receive reports of about 1000 lights not working correctly, where traffic condition permit, we aim to attend to defects within three working days.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 12 Dec 2017 at 11:18