Fears over safety of concrete posts

Calls have been made for safety checks to be made on concrete lampposts after a column collapsed in Cramlington.

Saturday, 30th April 2016, 7:45 am
The collapsed street light in Cramlington.

The lighting columns, installed in the late 1970s and 80s, are still being used on some estates.

Local resident Christine Dunbar is calling for Northumberland County Council to carry out a full safety audit after a lighting column collapsed in Kingswood Road, after being hit by a van.

Christine said: “I am very concerned that these columns which are almost all on housing estates may be unsafe.

“The column which toppled into a front garden was hit by a slow moving, reversing van.

“A steel column would have bent or buckled, these concrete ones have no flexibility and simple collapse. This could have been catastrophic for any passers by.

“I believe these units are fundamentally unsafe and I am now calling on Northumberland County Council to carry out a full audit in Cramlington and anywhere else which has these concrete units.”

Home owner Alison Mullen said: “I was horrified. These must weigh a ton and to have this slam into the front garden was a shocker.”

A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council said: “While we are testing columns, and replacing them where they are found to have reached the end of their life, in this case the column collapsed because it was hit by a vehicle. There was nothing to suggest it would have broken if it had not been damaged in this way.”

They added: “The council is undertaking an ambitious three-year scheme to replace over 40,000 streetlights in the county with modern, energy-efficient LED lamps.

“The £23m streetlighting modernisation project has already seen almost 5,000 lights replaced and over 3,500 new lamp-posts installed, which are using two thirds less energy than the old conventional lights.”