Energy saving bulbs put Burnley’s elderly at risk

LEFT IN THE DARK: Resident of Aylesbury Walk, Burnley, Mr Michael McHugh says it is now dark and dangerous around his home and he has been forced to use a torch since the county council changed the street lighting.

LEFT IN THE DARK: Resident of Aylesbury Walk, Burnley, Mr Michael McHugh says it is now dark and dangerous around his home and he has been forced to use a torch since the county council changed the street lighting.

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PENNY-PINCHING officials are putting lives at risk, according to residents who have been left in the dark.

Street lights in Aylesbury Walk, Burnley, have been changed to low-energy bulbs to save cash, but cast so little light that people are forced to used torches to see the flights of steps on the walk. Many residents are elderly and fear falling.

They also fear the walk is now a muggers’ paradise, with vulnerable people made easy prey.

Former Burnley councillor Mr Michael McHugh is leading a campaign to force a rethink on the new lighting regime brought in by Lancashire County Council.

Said Mr McHugh: “We’ve been blacked out, and it is dangerous. You need a torch when you go out. The lights used to be quite good.They used to cast a good, wide light. Now, they shine down on one spot, and do not illuminate the area like they used to do.

“The question we are asking is would the county council be liable if, or PENNY-PINCHING officials are putting lives at risk, say residents who have been left in the dark.

Street lights in Aylesbury Walk, Burnley, have been changed to low-energy bulbs to save cash, but cast so little light people have to use torches to see the steps on the walk.

Many residents are elderly and fear falling. They also fear the walk is now a muggers’ paradise.

Former Burnley councillor Mr Michael McHugh is leading a campaign to force a rethink on the new lighting regime by Lancashire County Council. He said: “We’ve been blacked out and it is dangerous. You need a torch when you go out. The lights used to be quite good and cast a good, wide light. Now, they shine down on one spot, and do not illuminate the area like they used to do.”

He demanded: “Would the county council be liable if, or more likely when, somebody was hurt? The lights should be replaced or they should put extra street lights in.”

He added: “My father-in-law is in his 80s and has to carry a torch. There are three steps along the walk, and although they are not steep you have to know where they are. People need to be able to see where they are walking.”

Jeff Lewis, principal street lighting engineer, said: “The county council is replacing traditional sodium street lights with LED lamps which use only 30% of the power. LED lamps give off white light rather than yellow, so the quality appears different, but the level of detail picked out by white light is very similar.

“LED lighting doesn’t spill as far from the lamp as traditional lighting and this has been welcomed by residents who complained at light pollution into their homes.

“We have visited Aylesbury Walk to check the new lamps provide the intended level of illumination. As well as saving money, LED lights will help to achieve the target set by the Government to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.”