Letter to BCC - Street Light Switch Off

posted 11 Dec 2011 12:50 by Eli Kling
A final consultation on the street light switch off trial has been carried out by BCC.  Below is the text of a letter sent to them on behalf of GWC.

After discussion with interested members of Get Wendover Cycling [GWC] we ask that you take note of the following comments before reaching a final decision to switch off all sets of trial lights permanently.

Whilst we support the principle behind this energy saving programme we believe that lights should not be switched off at places where darkness is likely to cause conflict between cyclists and pedestrians on shared use paths. At the same time this action is likely to deter people from adopting cycling as an alternative to car use and negate any CO2 saving. Poor surface and lack of routine maintenance such as sweeping, vegetation cut back, debris clearance, are a constant hazard in daylight, a situation worsened after dark without the benefit of street lights.

Two sections of the street lights trail of particular concern to GWC are:

A413 Wendover Road between Marroway and Worlds End roundabout. The dual use path along side the road is part of BCC's promoted Amber Way cycle route. The reflective edge lining to the path is breaking up and loosing its bright colour. Only routine maintenance will ensure these lines remain visible and of value to cyclists.

B4009 Halton between Chestnut Ave. and Harebridge Road. This cycle path has no reflective lining, is badly overgrown in parts and is on a strong incline. Travelling down the hill towards Wendover against the headlights of oncoming traffic it is impossible to see the edge of the path next to the road.

Against this background we would ask Buckinghamshire County Council to restore street lighting to these and other stretches of road where there are adjacent dual use paths.

We await the outcome of the final consultation with interest.

New Consultation on Street light Switch Off Trial

posted 8 Nov 2011 12:12 by Eli Kling

It now looks certain that the lights involved in the trial will, with only limited exceptions, be left switched off, although a further consultation is now open.

You might think that street lighting is for the benefit of local residents and the safety of vunerable road users rather than passing vehicles. Clearly this is not necessarily the case when there are savings to be made.

Two parts of the switch off trail in this area are the A413 Aylesbury Road section from the Wendover bypass to Marroway and the B4009 in Halton between Chestnut Ave. and Harebridge Road. Both these sections have shared use paths that are now in darkness at night increasing the possibilty of conflict between pedestrians and cyclists. A regular night cyclist on the Aylesbury Road section says that she no longer counts the number of near misses she has had with other cyclists, pedestrians, runners, posts and branches bent down by heavy rain. The Halton shared path is overgrown in parts and the edge next to the road is not defined.

Changes to be introduced on the Aylesbury road section show that, for the safety of motorists, T for B will install down the centre of the road, "Halifax Type Studs with white 3M inserts at 9m centres" No mention is made of any safety features for users of the dual use path that runs along the side of this road and forms part of BCC promoted Amber Cycle route. This would have been an additional expense and the cycling development budget has been axed and used to repair roads.

If you believe there are sections in the trial that should not have there lights switch off make your views known via the current consultation that can be found on BCC website under the Have Your Say heading. You never know they might just change their mind.

Street Light Switch Off

Some progress

20 Mar 2009
As reported previously Get Wendover Cycling contacted BCC Highways expressing safety concerns now that the street lights have been switched off along the A413 between Marroway in Western Turville and the roundabout at the start of Wendover bypass. Other people have also raised this as a safety issue for users of this section of the Amber Way cycle route and now, as you can see from the accompanying photographs, white lines have been painted each side of the path. 

As a further safety aid bright yellow stickers have been placed on posts and objects close to the path. We feel these actions are a worthwhile  improvement but no substitute for the missing street lighting. This view has been passed to BCC Highways. They have advised that the switch off experiment will continue and the outcome reviewed at the end of the trial in about two years. So if you have any views on this exercise in energy saving please write to BCC Highways. (PS. The stickers were placed by two Get Wendover Cycling members at the request of BCC Cycling and Walking Officer).


Some Action

03 Feb 2009
Following a number of our members and a member of the public talking to us about the problems they have encountered along Aylesbury Road at night over the winter, we have been in touch with Bucks County Council with the following: “I would like to register the concern expressed to Get Wendover Cycling at the street light switch-off along the A413 between Marroway in Western Turville and the roundabout at the start of the Wendover bypass. As you may be aware the Amber Way cycle path runs alongside this stretch of road. Several users have drawn to our attention that after dark , the headlights of oncoming vehicles make it very hard to see the line of the path and any obstacles and debris (currently broken glass and thorny hedge trimmings) that may be in the way. At two points there are posts supporting traffic signs to the side of the path that are difficult to see against oncoming headlights. These also present a hazard. As the route is promoted by Cycle Aylesbury I consider it should be safe to use at all times of the day. At present this is not the case. If those who commute by bicycle from Wendover to Aylesbury by bike are not able to do so safely, I would like to know what BCC will do to ensure they have a safe journey along this nationally promoted cycle way. In the interest of safety and promoting cycling as an alternative to the car, we would ask that BCC bring these lights back into service. If this can not be done then an alternative would it be to have the lights on until say, midnight. A further possibility would be to have the edges of the path identified by white lines and cat eyes and the hazardous posts similarly painted or moved. Your views on how to address this problem would be appreciated”.

Street Light Switch Off 

January 2009
Aylesbury Cycling Campaign recently raised with BCC safety issues as a result of street lights being switched off on local roads.   In reply BCC stated that full safety audits had been carried out prior to the switch off and no reasons not to proceed were identified.  Details of the trial can be seen on www.buckscc.gov.uk/streetlightingenergy

This switch off affects users of the Aylesbury/ Wendover  cycle route between the start of the Wendover bypass near the garden center and the Marroway roundabout in Weston Turville.  Anybody affected by this should write to Mr P Stonehewer, Strategic Maintenance and Road Casualty Reduction  at BCC and copy it to Lee Stevens BCC Cycling and Walking Officer. The trial has still some time to run and comments will be taken into consideration.  In the meantime Get Wendover Cycling will consider the best way to respond.