Village left in the dark because of delay in replacing street lighting

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Residents in a Buckinghamshire village say they are being left in the dark because an energy company has not finished upgrading its street lights – 27 months after a contract was agreed.

E.ON agreed change the 22 street lights at Soulbury near Leighton Buzzard from high energy sodium bulbs to low energy LED lamps in July 2018, but the work has still not finished.

The Chairman of Soulbury Parish Council Victor Wright said: “Soulbury residents have been left in the dark over winter again.

“It has taken E-ON 27 months so far and the work has not been finished.

“Soulbury Parish Council has contact E-ON many times to get the work completed with no joy.

“The reason for changing over the street lighting is the reduced maintenance costs over time and secondly for energy efficiency improvements which will reduce the bill for street lights by about 80%.

“Because E-ON has not completed the work the residents are paying a higher electric bill via their council tax and repair bills. The sodium lamps are not produced any more or are getting harder to repair.

“We now have two streets lights not working and the average cost of repair is £100. One has a missing lamp cover, which is dangerous and one post has both a new and old light fitting with the new fitting not working.”

An E.ON spokesperson said: “We are sorry for the delay in completing this project.

“We replaced the majority of the lamps within a few months of the contract but a small number of street lights need to be connected to the overhead power network which is owned and controlled by the local distribution company. That work can only be carried be out by the network operator and we have been unable to complete our upgrades to the lights and columns until they have finished.

“We are continuing to speak to the network company and once their work on the overhead network is complete we will be able to finish our installation.”
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