As the highway authority, the council has a legal responsibility to maintain 25,000 street and subway lights, as well as 3,000 illuminated signs, bollards and zebra crossings.
What we do
- Emergency call-outs (within 1 hour) - making dangerous situations safe or remaining on site until the the dangerous problem can be resolved. We will request assistance where needed.
- Fault repairs / replacements (within 5 working days) - identifying and tracing faults, and repairing or replacing equipment.
- Night scouting (monthly) - checking all the lamps at night.
- Non-destructive testing (every 5 years or less) - full structural non-destructive test in accordance with guidance.
- Bulk clean (every 6 years or less) - cleaning all interior and exterior surfaces of street lights.
- Electrical inspection and test (every 6 years or less) - a full electrical inspection.
New LED lights
The council has replaced all standard sodium street lights on the public highway with new LED lights.
How are they different?
- The LED light source is highly efficient, environmentally friendly and reduces energy consumption.
- They look a bit different to the old lights, but the level of light is no different
- These lights are more directional, which means they will light up roads and footways with less backlight shining toward nearby properties and front gardens.
Who's responsible for which lighting
The council is responsible for:
- lighting on all of the public highways in the borough
- lighting columns in the borough's public car parks
The Highways Agency is responsible for:
- the motorways
- A3113 Airport Way
Transport for London is responsible for:
- the A4, A30, A40 and A312
Street light emergencies
The following items are considered an emergency:
- a damaged lighting column, bollard or illuminated sign
- an illuminated bollard that's not lit with no flashers fitted
- a door or inspection cover is open or missing from a lighting column or illuminated sign leaving wires exposed at ground level
For the above emergencies only, call our environment line on 01895 556000 (if out of hours, 01895 250111) and we'll attend the scene to make it safe within 4 hours of the problem being reported.
If you witnessed a vehicle causing the damage, we may be able to trace the vehicle owner if we have the registration number, the make, model and colour of the vehicle. Please provide any information you have at the time of reporting.
Street lights not working or on during the day
Each year, we receive reports of around 1,000 lights not working correctly. Where traffic conditions permit, we aim to attend to defects within 5 working days.
Occasionally, a light may be out due to a fault or failure of the electricity supply. We report these cases to our electricity supplier to restore the power. In these instances, it can take up to 5 weeks for power to be restored and often requires excavation in the footway.
Most street lights are controlled by photoelectric cells. These are designed to be fail safe by leaving the light operating all the time. We do not undertake inspections to detect 'dayburners', but reporting it helps us. These lights do use additional electricity but it's at no additional cost to the council.
Trees obscuring lighting columns or signs
Please ensure trees and hedges in your garden are kept trimmed so they do not affect the efficiency of a street light or sign. As well as keeping the lantern clear, we also need access to the base of the column and to be able to inspect the whole of the column to ensure it's structurally sound.
If we discover a problem, we'll write asking for the tree to be trimmed. If no action is taken, an enforcement notice may be issued under Section 154 of the Highways Act 1980, which allows the owner to be charged for the work.
If you notice a street light obstructed by a tree/hedge on private property, please report it using our Issues with a residential property form, so our anti-social behavour team can investigate and contact the owner to resolve.
If a street light is obstructed by a tree/hedge on council land, this can be reported using our Street light issue form, which will be passed on to our grounds maintenance team to respond to.
Request a lighting improvement
If you feel the lighting on a road is in need of improvement, let us know and your request will be added to our database. Requests will be considered when funding is made available for improvements.
Please note: It may be a number of years before the new schemes are implemented due to demand.