The problems last week with the many street lights in Hertfordshire which have already been changed to Part Night Lighting (PNL) was raised by Liberal Democrat county councillors at the full county council meeting on 27.3.2012. Following this, a temporary stop has been put on any further extension of PNL until the problems have been sorted out. Stevenage is the eighth out of 10 districts in Hertfordshire to change to PNL, and was due to start conversion in the second week in April, so it will now be delayed.

Chells county councillor and Manor borough councillor, Liberal Democrat Robin Parker, said: “It appears that the software in the new photocells fitted to each lamp is faulty, in that with the combined effect of the rapidly increasing daylight hours in March, and the clock change from GMT to BST, also in March, each lamp has at least one day when it goes out at dusk and stays out until at least the next day’s dusk.”

“The problem did not happen to lights already converted to PNL last October, when the reverse conditions applied. However, if it is not sorted out, the problem will occur in March 2013 again.”

“Our questions at the county council meeting have revealed the information about the delay and also that all costs of fixing the ‘soggy software’ or ‘dodgy diodes’, will be met by the manufacturer or supplier. Stevenage should avoid the problems experienced in other areas of Hertfordshire.”

Robin concluded: “This is obviously the second example, in one meeting, of a Herts Highways system that had not been tested properly before being inflicted on the public; the first example is the dreadful new Highways Fault Reporting System.”