Streetlighting is an issue that Wirral residents care about. Contractor Mega Electrical are now working with Wirral Council to assist with streetlight maintenance and since May our teams have doubled the amount of daily repairs.
To ensure the team is fully equipped to manage the service, the Council has also appointed three new Highways Maintenance Officers and a new Street Lighting Manager.
Since investing in more highly skilled staff and tendering these additional contracts for streetlight repair, Council teams have attended more than 850 streetlight and column repairs in July alone, removed more than 10 dangerous columns and installed ‘keep left’ bollards across the borough.
And the frequency of repairs has increased further with, last week on Monday 2nd September, Mega Electrical beginning a second contract to replace the street lighting columns of damaged equipment, with 150 columns set to be replaced in the first phase. These projects will run side by side.
Cllr Julie McManus, cabinet member for community services, said: “Streetlighting is an issue that our residents are vocal about, and quite right too.
“We have listened to residents’ concerns, investing in new staff and repair contracts for our streetlighting programme to ensure that these concerns are met.”
Repairing cable and electrical faults can take longer than typical lantern maintenance. These complex faults can often mean multiple lights are out in one area.
To ensure that these repairs are fixed, swiftly and with minimal impact to residents, the council is seeking specialists to find cable faults across the borough. Highways officers hope to award this contract by the end of October, better enabling them to repair many of the streetlights that are currently out.
Cllr McManus said: “While more than 85% of streetlight problems are fixed at the first visit, some faults may need extra work. Sometimes there are underground cable faults that may require work from Scottish Power, these can take longer than normal to repair.
“Working to clear a backlog of faults, our highways teams carry out day and night-time inspections to identify streetlights which are damaged or not working, prioritising those in areas that cause the greatest impact and risk to safety first.
“As a resident myself I am conscious of the issue of safe and effective streetlighting across Wirral. This is a top priority issue and I am confident that our teams are working tirelessly on these new projects to meet the needs of our borough.”
The new LED streetlight replacement programme, starting this month, will replace many of the currently faulty lights, with completion set for autumn 2021.