New 'dimmer' Kettering LED streetlights branded as 'pathetic' by residents

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The lights were replaced at the end of last year

Residents on an estate in Kettering have branded new streetlights as 'pathetic' and say they are making them feel unsafe.

Lights on Deeble Road were recently changed to LED technology by Balfour Beatty for North Northants Council (NNC), but drivers and pedestrians say it has left the road dark and dangerous.

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Campaigners say calls for the lights to be made brighter appear to have not made any difference and are demanding action.

Deeble Road, Kettering - residents are campaigning to improve the street lights /National WorldDeeble Road, Kettering - residents are campaigning to improve the street lights /National World
Deeble Road, Kettering - residents are campaigning to improve the street lights /National World

Cyclist Oliver Richmond uses the road to get to and from work and is one of those concerned.

He said: "The new lights are pathetic and considerably dimmer than the old ones. It is difficult to see the road ahead as it is in near darkness.

"I'm all for saving energy costs but not by jeopardising road safety. The council really need to do something before there is a nasty crash."

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Nick Shaw, another Ise Lodge resident, called a site visit arranged by contractors Balfour Beatty to look at the lights as ‘crazy’ – it was held at 11am.

Deeble Road, Kettering street lights /National WorldDeeble Road, Kettering street lights /National World
Deeble Road, Kettering street lights /National World

He said: "I have complained to the council and they organised a site meeting to look at the situation, but did this in the middle of the day instead of after dark, which seemed crazy.

"The road is really dark now and it's hard to spot pedestrians waiting to cross at the zebra crossings.”

NNC Ise Lodge councillors Elliot Prentice and Lloyd Bunday have been working to resolve the situation and pushing for improvements to the lighting.

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Cllr Prentice said: “I certainly feel they are darker. Some of the lighting has been increased over the bridge and they can control the lights from an office. We are doing our best to get them increased with improvements due soon.”

Deeble Road, Kettering /National WorldDeeble Road, Kettering /National World
Deeble Road, Kettering /National World

The LED lighting installed across the north Northants area has seen a £6m investment to bring more energy efficient bulbs and are of the correct specification. But it’s the contrast between the previous bulbs that had been over-spec that has caused the drop in brightness. The higher than average poles have also added to the reduction in light.

Cllr Bunday said: “The previous street lights were above specification, now that they have been changed to the new ones, they are far dimmer.

"Deeble Road is perceived to be dimmer than it was – and it is.”

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Road improvements are due to take place with two new zebra crossings planned and a re-design of the Kettering Science Academy crossing that will boost lighting in the area. A new traffic island will be added on Warkton Lane and recently the 30mph zone was increased to help drivers exiting St Catherine’s Road.

Cllr Bunday added: “Deeble Road is a special case. It’s the main arterial road and is used by a lot of traffic. We are investing to save (money). The new crossings come with rules and regulations for increased lighting.”

Until the light levels are increased, residents are still concerned with the lack of illumination.

Katie Hall added: "The darkness definitely makes me feel less safe. I have to take a torch with me now when walking on Deeble Road.”