PUBLISHED: 11:03 23 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:39 06 May 2010
SIR, — Further to Mr Alan Bunting s letter (Herts Advertiser, October 9) regarding the new street lights and the work involved, here in Browning Road, Harpenden, we had even more of excitement — one of the new lights did not work. Alarm and despondency. A
SIR, - Further to Mr Alan Bunting's letter (Herts Advertiser, October 9) regarding the new street lights and the work involved, here in Browning Road, Harpenden, we had even more of excitement - one of the new lights did not work. Alarm and despondency.
A team arrived and started digging up the tarmac surrounding the offending lamppost. Since it had barely dried, I inquired what was happening. It transpired that although electric power went up that side of the road, for some reason they had not been allowed to connect it to the light. Instead power had to be taken from the other side of the road. Accordingly, they spent a couple of days digging a trench across the road and pavement to find the cable, joining it up to the new lamp and reinstating it all. "Best Value" or what? While they were relaying the road, they also filled in a large dent in the pavement where one of their trucks had parked during the operation.
Why the new lampposts? Did inhabitants of Browning Road complain that the lights were not fit for purpose and that they felt at risk? Were the old lights not tall enough - a new EU regulation perhaps? Were they not bright enough - previously I could visit the loo in the middle of the night without switching on the light; now our light is so bright I could read a newspaper at the same time? Are they cheaper to run? If so, will any of us live long enough to see the financial payback? Is it that, with the new brighter lights, motorists will be able to see the potholes in the road more easily and perhaps avoid them.
Because the new lampposts are taller than the old ones, one of the lights, which was previously partially obscured by the branches of a tree, is now buried even further up in the foliage, obscuring it even more than before. Perhaps this is intentional but I suspect that like so many council foul-ups, it's because no one actually came to inspect the site before any work was begun.
In a day and age when we are being encouraged to recycle and re-use everything, it was interesting to see how the redundant lampposts, still in excellent condition, were disposed of. As they were carefully yanked out of the ground, the bulb was removed and thrown into one corner of the truck, the lamp housing was unscrewed and thrown in another corner and the lampposts themselves were sliced up into three or four sections and slung on top of the lot.
Meanwhile in another part of town a request has been made that street lights are installed in Coldharbour Lane to help reduce the risk of personal attack. Surely the old lights could have been used?
The cost of this whole exercise would have been better spent on our roads. It's a pity that the council and/or Herts Highways ("Improving Your Roads") doesn't seem to get its priorities quite right - ever.
Browning Road, Harpenden.