Croydon residents hug streetlights in bid to stop upgrades

Police were called to a street in South London recently when residents began hugging lampposts in a bid to stop council workmen upgrading their streetlights.

Croydon Council has replaced ten Victorian-style streetlights with six new energy-efficient luminaries under a £79 million contract with Skanska.

The workmen dialled emergency services after feeling threatened by residents demanding information about the streetlight upgrade programme.

Around 20 people, including some parents carrying babies, gathered in Mowbray Road in Crystal Palace to stop the installation of the new columns.

Residents wanted to retain the old streetlights, which they felt were in keeping with the character of the street. They also claimed that one of the lampposts at the end of the street fell within a conservation area – something the council disputes.

Long-term resident Mark Richardson, 61, told Lux that the locals had requested more traditional fittings to be installed on top of the existing columns. He said: ‘We’re fairly peed off because the council were asked but never discussed anything. It’s just a communication issue. Everybody agrees with energy-efficient lights but let’s upgrade the Victorian lights with energy-efficient luminaires.’

‘The whole street used to be in a conservation area but the boundaries are changing. The council said that they had a consultation but they could have discussed it better. They left us in the dark,’ he said.

Richardson added: ‘I watched the video on the Lux YouTube channel about the LED lights in the Paris Metro. I bet the French wouldn’t rip put the original features and they’d be careful to retain the Art Deco architecture.’

A spokesperson from Croydon Council told Lux that two major consultation exercises were carried out by Croydon and Lewisham councils between 2007 and 2012 to help develop the streetlighting plan, and added: ‘Both councils consulted widely at the start of the project and careful thought was given to which types of columns might be installed in different areas.’

The project is part of a 25-year contract to replace 38,000 ageing lamp columns with safer energy- efficient streetlights in the boroughs of Croydon and Lewisham.

 

Comments 3

This is just another council plan to put money on someone pocket. Whilst living in Croydon I've seen not only the old Victorian lights but many streetlights from newer urbanization's being replaced, some being about 10 years old and using the same metal halide technology being installed (Yes, ironically not LED!), which in most cases was not really an improvement to the existing high pressure sodium fixtures, just a more narrower beam that left many gaps between houses to invite crime - same as the cheaper LED fittings! More serious are some cases were the old column was removed, replaced with a new one using new MH bulbs, just so that 6 months later that too was completely removed and a taller column was installed with more powerful LED lights, spaced further apart. I mean who's paying for this? And the disruption caused? Thankfully I've moved out of Croydon. Our current council is also retrofitting to newer energy saving light features, but rather than spending pointless money on changing otherwise perfectly good columns and locations for these they retrofitted exiting fixtures with good quality LED light engines providing a uniform light distribution.

This is just another council plan to put money on someone pocket. Whilst living in Croydon I've seen not only the old Victorian lights but many streetlights from newer urbanization's being replaced, some being about 10 years old and using the same metal halide technology being installed (Yes, ironically not LED!), which in most cases was not really an improvement to the existing high pressure sodium fixtures, just a more narrower beam that left many gaps between houses to invite crime - same as the cheaper LED fittings! More serious are some cases were the old column was removed, replaced with a new one using new MH bulbs, just so that 6 months later that too was completely removed and a taller column was installed with more powerful LED lights, spaced further apart. I mean who's paying for this? And the disruption caused? Thankfully I've moved out of Croydon. Our current council is also retrofitting to newer energy saving light features, but rather than spending pointless money on changing otherwise perfectly good columns and locations for these they retrofitted exiting fixtures with good quality LED light engines providing a uniform light distribution.

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