Shining lights in the dark is a challenge of many facets – Stuff
Keeping the street lights glowing in Palmerston North is proving more challenging than residents might assume.
Many have complained about single blown lights that have taken weeks to fix, while other streets have had complete outages.
Issues have been reported in Cook St, an Awapuni cul-de-sac, Milson Line near the railway overbridge, Malden St, and several streets in Milson.
City council transport and development group manager Hamish Featonby said sourcing replacements for LED luminaires had been one of the problems.
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The council started switching residential streets to LED lighting five years ago to save money on power, exposing many areas where there were not enough light poles to adequately light the streets.
Many of the light fittings, under warranty for 10 years, were already failing.
At the moment, there were 114 faulty lights across the city, which was about 2% of the network.
Featonby did not have records of how many had already been replaced in the past three years.
The council did not hold replacement LED lights in stock, but that was likely to change, so contractors Fulton Hogan would be able to instal them temporarily while faulty lights were away being fixed.
The supplier was overseas, so it took about two months for repaired fittings to arrive back.
But the problem was more extensive than intermittent faulty fittings, with whole streets being plunged into darkness.
A small street off Pioneer Highway was in the dark for about a month, with one resident saying the neighbours were quite afraid to go out.
A newspaper delivery person, Ewen McKay, had followed outages around Milson, Kelvin Grove and Ashhurst since about November 2021.
“I’m concerned, if people are walking along in the dark, or there could be damage or attacks on property or vehicles.”
Street lighting is proving more difficult than it seems.
Cook St resident Marilyn Bulloch said the block between Ferguson and College streets was in total darkness for about a month back in February.
She said it was great for people who were light sleepers, and for would-be criminals.
During the outage, someone had been seen lurking near a trade vehicle parked on the street, and an unknown vehicle had pulled into a driveway one evening, only reversing away when a home’s security lights came on.
Bulloch said part of her issue was about the complaints …….
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