Residents of a Northampton street say new environmentally street lights are so dim they are tripping over recycling boxes, walking into excrement and generally fearing for their safety.
Clare Street in the Mounts is one of hundreds in the town to have new lighting fitted as part of a joint finance initiative (PFI) between Northamptonshire County Council and Balfour Beatty.
By the end of this year around 65,000 street lights will have been removed, replaced or upgraded in the county under the scheme, which was intended to reduce carbon emissions.
But Northampton borough councillors for the Castle ward say a recent survey of Clare Street residents found 26 out of 28 households believed there was “poor lighting” in the area.
Councillor Danielle Stone, said: “The vast majority of residents in Clare Street told us that the street lighting was poor.
“As a result residents didn’t feel safe and in the evening there were accidents such as walking into dog excrement and parents holding children falling over recycling bins. It’s awful.”
Councillor Stone said she has been disappointed by the response from the county council, which is responsible for street lighting.
In September last year a Labour motion calling on the Tory controlled county council to review its street lighting contract with Balfour Beatty was turned down.
She said: “The county council brushed off these legitimate concerns by simply saying that the lighting in Clare Street was meeting their own standard.
“Their standard as we all know is too low. It means nothing. We spoke to people, including a parent with a push chair, who have tripped over the recycling boxes due to poor visibility in the evening.
“When it came to clearing up dog mess on the highway they just shifted the blame to the hapless borough council.”
A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “The PFI streetlights replacement programme is now complete in Clare Street, Northampton.
“The new lights use the latest technology to deliver more effective white light to improve night time vision and colour recognition.
“We continue to liaise with the police and monitor any feedback we receive to stay aware of any issues which arise.”
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