On the evening of Wednesday 19 March, lots of HCC street lights in Stevenage failed to turn on. Local Liberal Democrat borough and county councillor, Robin Parker said:
“I noticed myself that lots of lights were out. I also received calls from local residents who had noticed the same thing. This is almost certainly a repeat of the problem which happened in March 2013 (and also in March 2012 for those areas of Hertfordshire which had at that time been converted to Part Night Lighting (PNL)).
Essentially, many of the photocells fitted to lights to convert them to PNL are faulty. In late March, the rate of change of daylight hours reaches a maximum, and the clock change also occurs. The system in the faulty cells seems unable to cope with these two events so close together. They should revert to a failsafe state of ‘on all night’ but it seems an associated fault prevents this happening as well.
In practice the faulty lights fail to work for a night or two.
At the other clock change at the end of October, there are fewer problems, probably because the rate of daylight change reaches a maximum approximately six weeks before that date.
I have raised the problem many times with HCC officials and have been told repeatedly over the last two years that the manufacturer is working on a solution at their own expense.
This problem should have been resolved months ago.
The whole Part Night Lighting story has been a public relations disaster for HCC and it is time they sorted it all out without further problems for council taxpayers.
None of these problems would have happened if HCC had never gone down the road of PNL.”