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Your Borough Of Poole

Street Lighting

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We are responsible for the maintenance, repair and renewal of approximately 18,000 street lights in the Borough of Poole. We also look after the maintenance and repairs to around 1,600 lit traffic signs, 100 zebra crossing beacons & pedestrian refuge crossing globes, 700 lit traffic bollards and lighting in over 20 subways.



Every street light that is owned and operated by the Borough of Poole is included in our routine maintenance programme. Each light is subjected to a detailed inspection by a qualified engineer every two years. During this inspection, a full examination of the condition of the unit is carried out and repairs made to any defects found.

In between these times, night patrols of our primary traffic routes around Poole are carried out at least once a month and any faulty lights identified are inspected and repaired in line with our reactive maintenance procedures. For all other roads (e.g. more minor residential areas) we rely on members of the public to report faulty street lights to us.

 Reporting a Fault

You can follow the links on the right hand side of this page to report a fault to us. Your report will be dealt with by one of the two members of staff in the Street Lighting team.

 The easiest way to report a fault is by using our interactive mapping system. Click on the link for Street Lighting and Lit Sign Faults to the right of the page and you will be directed to our map based reporting system where you can search for your road and select the appropriate street light which is displayed on the map to raise a fault report.

If a fault with the light you are looking for has already been reported, this will be identified on the map. A red icon over the light denotes an outstanding fault and a green one denotes a completed fault. Further information will appear when you place the on screen pointer over the relevant street light on the map. If a green icon is shown but you have noticed the light is still faulty, you will be able to generate a new report by clicking on the icon on the map.


Alternatively, you can report a fault to us without using the interactive mapping system. On the fault report screen mentioned above, select the option to Report a street light issue without a map and you will be directed to a form where you can send us the details of the fault.

 When using this form to report a fault, please let us know;

  •   what street the light is in

  •   the location of the light (e.g. the property number it is outside or nearest to)

  •  the type of unit which is faulty (e.g. street light or lit traffic bollard)

  •   the number of the street light (this can be found on the street light itself)

  •  the nature of the fault

 We aim to pass most faults onto our contractor the same day or next working day depending on when it is reported. The faulty light will be inspected by an engineer within an appropriate timescale dependant on the type of fault.

This will normally be within 5 working days for faults that do not require immediate attendance. For more urgent faults where an emergency response is required to rectify issues that represent a danger to the public, the site will be attended within 2 hours in order to make it safe.

 For further details on fault repair timescales or if you have already reported a fault and would like some more information, please refer to our Street Lighting FAQ’s page by clicking on the link under the ‘Downloads’ section to the right of this page.

Our current contractor for street lighting maintenance, repair and renewal is SSE Contracting who are based locally and have in depth knowledge of the area and our lighting stock.

 Investment in Street Lighting Replacement

In July 2014, Councillors approved plans to install energy efficient LED street lighting across Poole following the development of an in depth business case for investment by Transportation Services.

 Around 17,420 lights will now be replaced over the next six years at a cost of around £10m, helping to improve street lighting provision as well as reducing safety risks posed by the deterioration of older steel and concrete lighting columns. The project will also allow us to cut energy costs and reduce carbon consumption.

Two-thirds of the street lighting in Poole is over 25 years old, and current budgets only allow us to replace approximately 1% of the lighting columns every year. Energy costs for street lighting have more than doubled in the last 10 years, and street lighting accounts for approximately a quarter of the council’s entire carbon footprint. By replacing the existing street lights, we estimate that we will save around £20m in energy costs over the next 30 years.

 The main benefits with LED technology are the provision of a better quality ‘white’ light and the ability to make substantial energy savings due to the energy efficient properties of the light source. The new lights being installed will stay switched on throughout the night in all parts of Poole, and will be dimmed where appropriate during hours when highway use is limited.

The ‘white light’ produced by LED’s is close to that created in daylight and allows the human eye to identify colour and surroundings in more detail when compared to our existing high pressure sodium street lighting lamps. This gives the benefit of increased visibility for drivers and pedestrians resulting in a better feeling of general safety and security during the hours of darkness.

Councillors have approved borrowing to meet the cost of the replacement scheme which is estimated at around £10.4 million. Contractors will be invited to tender for the works in early 2015. Once a contractor has been appointed, the installation programme is planned to commence in 2015/16.

 The decision will also mean that the planned consultation process for the second phase of part night lighting trials, where street lights are automatically switched off between approximately midnight and 6am, will no longer go ahead as it will be superseded by our replacement project.

Carbon Reduction

The Borough of Poole is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. Street lighting accounts for approximately a quarter of the Borough’s entire carbon footprint and is an area where potential savings need to be considered.

Part night lighting trials, where street lights are automatically switched off between approximately midnight and 6am, have been introduced in Poole over two phases within the last 5 years. Phase one included the conversion of street lights in a small number of residential roads in Poole to part night operation during 2009/2010, with some 150 lights in 18 streets being switched off during the above times.

After an extensive post trial review, the scheme was deemed to be a success and the extension of the operation on a wider scale (phase two) was given approval to proceed in 2012/13 subject to the views of residents, ward councillors and the Police. Consultation was carried out with residents in approximately 14,500 households within 425 roads in Poole to obtain views on the possibility of converting a further 3,400 street lights in these roads to part night operation. 

Following the in depth consultation process in this respect, a report was presented to the Transportation Advisory Group (TAG) meeting on Thursday 10 May 2012 to inform of the results. After agreement by Members of TAG and endorsement from Ward Members was in place, a report was presented to the Council Cabinet on 12 June 2012, where approval was given for trials to proceed in roads where a clear majority of support (above 55%) was received from residents. 

Around 1,800 street lights within 250 roads were converted to part night lighting between February and April 2013. All of the areas included have and will continue to be monitored with the assistance of the Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams. In the unlikely event of significant issues arising in any area, it will be reviewed with Ward Members and the Police and full night lighting reinstated if deemed absolutely necessary. 

A full review of the phase two trials, including further consultation with residents, was planned to be carried out once the part night lighting had been in place for 12 months. This was placed on hold in early 2014 while alternative options for energy reduction in street lighting were considered. Once approval for wide scale investment in the replacement of the majority of our street lights with new LED technology was in place, it was agreed that the consultation process would be discontinued as the trial will be superseded by the replacement project. 

Further information on part night lighting and the results of the previous trials can be found by using the links under the ‘Downloads’ section to the right of this page. 

Other projects aimed at reducing the amount of energy used in street lighting include the dimming of the lights on the approach roads to the Twin Sails Bridge between midnight and 6am. This was the first time dimming of street lights was introduced in the Borough and further use of this technology will be applied where appropriate within our LED replacement project from 2015/16. 

Small scale trials of LED street lighting were introduced within Poole in 2013 with the view of testing the technology before considering wide scale introduction throughout the Borough. 

If you require any further information, please contact our street lighting team by using one of the following options on the right hand side of the page. 

Seasonal Decorative Lighting 

Festive and decorative lighting are a welcome sight in the public realm and bring pleasure to many people, particularly at Christmas. The Borough of Poole supports the use of seasonal decorations wherever possible but, as a Highway Authority, must safeguard all users of the highway. Therefore, an application process is in place to ensure that any installations of seasonal decorations in areas on or around the highway are provided in a safe manner and in accordance with relevant national guidelines. 

The application process is managed by the street lighting section and provides guidance to those wishing to install seasonal decorations on or over the Highway on a temporary basis, for up to three months. It is not the intention of this application process to prevent seasonal decorations being installed, it is necessary to prevent poor installations that could cause danger to users of the highway. 

A comprehensive Code of Practice has been published by the County Surveyors’ Society covering the installation, operation and removal of seasonal decorations. The Code of Practice will guide applicants through the process and detailed safety requirements involved. The Borough of Poole has adopted the Code of Practice and any proposals submitted by Trade Associations, Chambers of Commerce, Charities, Schools and other recognised bodies must comply. 

Applicants should submit their proposals at least two months in advance, but ideally longer where the proposals are more complex. Further information on the application process is included in the ‘Seasonal Lighting Guidance Notes’ file that can be accessed by following the link in the ‘Downloads’ section on the right hand side of the page. The required application forms can also be downloaded from this location. 

An application for a Miscellaneous Activity on the Highway licence will also be required and this can be found in the downloads section on our ‘Working on the Highway in the Borough of Poole’ webpage - please clickhere to be taken to this page.