Street lighting update

David Jenkins and Denis Payne met officers at CCC and Balfour Beatty management to raise concerns about recent activity in the community. They were constructive meetings and we should see improvements in the next days/weeks.

Firstly to put people’s concerns into context: Balfour Beatty will have installed about 800 columns in H&I and only a handful seem to be causing problems, we have logged 15 through the Parish Office. Of this 15 one relates to SCDC lights, 4 have been resolved according the wishes of the resident and several are still pending. That means a net incidence of only about 1%.

And to be fair the new lights are much better than the old concrete and sodium ones.

Issues in particular:

  • no responses from BB and/or failure to attend meetings: BB has the list and will now ensure that everyone is contacted
  • no delivery of light shields even though they have been promised: it seems that these are not covered by the contract and BB orders them in batches. They will be delivered.
  • new columns not working after the old ones have been disconnected: this ‘should not happen’. If it does then call BB at the number on the label on the column referring to the column ID which is printed on the same label.
  • barriers blocking footpaths/not being cleared quickly enough: in the first case please call the number on the barrier and ask for it to be moved. The latter is not so easy. BB operate to an ‘indicative’ 6 week target but the barriers need to remain in place until the column has been subject to IC (Independent Certification).
  • BB vehicles parking on pavements: BB are aware that this is a problem and showed me the notes from their weekly briefing meeting where engineers are clearly told not to do this.

The Parish Council has agreed to ‘rescue’ the old cast iron columns and these will be re-erected in suitable places.

We are still talking to BB about the Green. We have proposed a solution which will give us better illumination and should save money. It also involves using ‘heritage’ columns along the south side of the Green.

If anyone has specific concerns about the program they should email Peta ( copying the Parish Clerk (


6 comments on “Street lighting update

  1. I must admit I’ve only had one concern when a nearby, newly erected lamp post seemed to be leaning at a rather jaunty angle. They were out the next day to put it straight.

    • Irrespective of the lighting issues outlined above, I am very concerned about the adequacy of the new lighting. In Alstead Road, Histon, 5 old lighting columns have been reduced to only 3 new ones – all on the same side of the road. The illumination levels at night are now significantly lower. The result being that there are now large areas in darkness. Whereas behind Alstead Road is Greenleas, a sheltered housing complex. Although it appears these days that not all of the residents of this complex are the very elderly, as perhaps in the past. In fact, I suggest that the age profile of the residents in Alstead Road is similar to that of Greenleas. Yet Greenleas has had all 5/6 of its lighting columns replaced – it’s like Blackpool Illuminations there, unlike Alstead Road. Why is this? Has nobody considered the effect on personal safety safety and property security?

      • Derek: I’ll take a look but have you registered your concern with Balfour Beatty? This is not a great contract in some respects and it is driven by reducing costs which means reducing the number of columns but 5 down to 3 is pretty draconian.

  2. Pingback: Street lighting update | Histon and Impington News

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