Street lighting

In October 2011, the county council entered into a Street Lighting Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract with Balfour Beatty.

What does the contract include?

The first 5 years of this contract sees the upgrade or replacement of all county council maintained street lights. Once complete, in October 2016, there will have been a reduction of approximately one-third in the number of columns the council has to maintain in the future and a 55% reduction in energy use.

The greater portion of the cost for this work will be met from Government PFI credits meaning that the council pays less of its budget towards street lighting operation, maintenance and replacement than it did in 2011.

New street lights for Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire’s streets, where lighting is provided, are being lit to a Europe-wide standard which requires the highway to be lit to a uniform level. It is this requirement for even illumination which governs the number and location of street lighting columns. Columns are located where they will best light the highway and achieve the uniformity of illumination required.

The county council sets the level of lighting to be achieved; the choice of column location and lantern required to achieve this level rests with Balfour Beatty. There will be little correlation between the position of the old and new street lighting columns. Following the upgrade or replacement of the street lights in a street, all of the new columns or lanterns will be lit.

Generally, the county council will only light a road or path if the maintenance of its structure is Highway Authority responsibility and it has been designated as lit.

To find further details about the new lighting, report faults and to find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about these, please visit the Balfour Beatty website.

Street lighting switch-off

The county council switched off many of its street lights in 2011 to achieve significant budget savings. The county council is no longer reviewing appeals about switched-off lights.

To view the locations of lights which are the responsibility of Northamptonshire County Council and the locations of currently switched-off lights please view Northamptonshire County Council’s Interactive Mapping.

Lighting columns that are supposed to be off are marked with an adhesive sticker, an example can be viewed below:

Lights out

Who else provides street lighting?

Street lighting is also provided by parish and town councils, borough and district councils and Highways England (trunk roads and motorways), none of which is affected by these works. Some street lighting is also owned and maintained by developers and private owners.