Works start on city-wide streetlight scheme
12:01am 12th April 2012
City of York Council and Amey, the street lights partner, have now started the biggest overhaul of street lights in York since the Victorian era.
Following approval from the Full Council budget meeting on 23rd February to allocate £1million funding to replace streetlights, works are now underway across the city to replace columns, which were removed because they were structurally unsafe and posed an immediate risk to the public.
Cllr Dafydd Williams, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods at City of York Council, said:
"This programme of works is the biggest overhaul of street lights in York since the Victorian times.
"We've allocated £1 million in this year's budget to upgrade and replace street lights that are in need of urgent repair.
"We've also taken into account that a lot of York's street lights are antiques that help to provide York's unique character.
"So, it's important that they are replaced right and in order to do this we're working closely with the Reinvigorate York team on all lights being replaced within the city's walls and conservation areas."
A spokesperson for Amey, said:
"This investment is a significant step forward in addressing the street lighting issues in York.
"While our work to survey lighting columns in and around the district is still underway, we are working closely with the council to develop a programme of works which will see the biggest overhaul of the city's street lighting since Victorian times."
Extensive work has already been undertaken including a citywide survey last year to test over 9,000 steel columns.
As a result of this survey a replacement programme of works has started this month, which will see approximately 1,100 concrete and steel street lights replaced.
The work to assess the safety of the city's lighting columns will continue, but works to replace around seven per cent of the total light stock has now begun.
Works are scheduled to take place in each of York's 22 Ward areas on a priority basis, and the programme of replacement works is estimated to be complete by late summer.
In order to preserve York's unique character the Reinvigorate board - established to improve and enhance the quality of the city's public spaces - will meet shortly to discuss and agree the best approach for the types and styles of streetlights to be used in the city centre and the other 34 conservation areas across the city.
The street lights in conservation area locations will be replaced within the scheduled time and are estimated to start in June or July
The replacement schedule is on the council's website at: www.york.gov.uk/streetlights and notification signs will be placed in all Ward areas to inform residents of when works will start.
Residents can also follow the council's Twitter hashtag at www.twitter.com/CityofYork #yorkstreetlights to find out the latest details and information on the streetlights replacement schedule.
York's Lib Dem response to the streetlight scheme
Councillor Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Neighbourhoods, has reacted to the commencement of Labour's city-wide streetlight scheme.
"The Liberal Democrat Group welcomes the programme to replace the street lights that Labour removed last year before indentifying any funding to replace them.
However, this action is long overdue and it is not new money.
"Labour are implying that this is new investment. In fact, the money is simply being taken from other areas in the Neighbourhoods budget.
The overall budget for resurfacing roads and footpaths has been reduced and money has just been moved from highway maintenance to street lights.
This means that fewer roads and footpaths will be repaired.
"While residents will be delighted to get their street lights back, it is unacceptable that some will have been waiting for nearly 9 months, throughout the dark winter months.
Liberal Democrat budget plans protected these frontline services rather than funding the Labour Leader's vanity projects such as City Centre Wi-Fi."
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