New street lights turned on in town

NEW street lights have arrived in a Corby road which was chosen as a pilot area for a £132m scheme.

Tanfields Grove is one of the first streets in the county to get new white lights as part of Northamptonshire County Council’s five-year Private Finance Initiative scheme.

The funding was approved last July and will see around two-thirds of the lighting stock replaced with new white lights.

The announcement followed the uproar over the county council’s plans to switch off around half of Northamptonshire’s street lights in a bid to save £2m.

Mass protests took place in Corby and a street lights group on Facebook attracted more than 1,700 members.

County councillor Bob Scott, who represents the Lloyds ward, said his Labour group had supported the PFI scheme, but he was disappointed with the new lights.

He said: “I have been down there during the day and during the night. We were expecting to see the level of lighting that was there prior to the switch-off.

“It is clearly better than the one on, one off situation but it is not as good as before.

“They have spaced the posts out and increased the size by half again.

“My perception is that it doesn’t give the community what they were expecting.”

Tanfields Grove resident Shelley Davis said: “Our road was really, really dark and you couldn’t see anything in front of you.

“The new lights are white and are much taller, so from a safety point of view it is much better.

“It has got to be better than no lights. It was too dangerous for people walking in the street at night.”

A county council spokesman said: “Tanfields Grove is one of the early streets identified to try out the new lighting as part of the PFI contract which will see every one of Northamptonshire’s 65,000 street lights removed, replaced or upgraded over the next five years.

“The project involves installing new street lights and removing the old ones once they are up and running.

“The new lights will use the latest technology to deliver more effective white light to improve night time vision and colour recognition. As well as saving on energy costs the new lights will also reduce the county’s carbon emissions.”