Laura Sharman 24 February 2014

Council agrees 10-year rural lighting scheme

Council agrees 10-year rural lighting scheme image

A 10-year plan to upgrade footway lighting in rural areas has been agreed by Eden District Council.

The £1m programme will help replace the lights removed by Electricity North West from their electricity transmission poles following the death of a linesman who was electrocuted while repairing telephone equipment.

The scheme will provide new or replacement columns, with existing lights to be upgraded with LED fittings.

A number of footway lights on main roads will be offered to Cumbria County Council and lights on social housing will be offered to Eden Housing Association to maintain.

Eden District Council's environment portfolio holder, Cllr Mike Tonkin said: ‘Finding a long-term solution to rural footway lighting provision was never going to be easy. The solution council has agreed is sustainable and affordable, especially given the current financial climate.

‘Members and officers have worked very hard to address the concerns of local communities and we appreciate that the agreed outcome initially maybe not be well received by everyone.

'The criteria we have agreed does provide a fair and rational basis to assess what footway lights are needed and should be retained in an area. Parish councils will have the opportunity to highlight any special circumstances they have for retaining a footway light, for example where it is providing for the needs of a vulnerable groups, and these cases will be examined by a group of members and officers.’

The district council will be looking to transfer responsibility for lights on A or main roads to Cumbria County Council.

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