WEEKEND WEB: Spalding Guardian letters
Your views on street lights, speed cameras and retail
LED bulbs would have meant no switch-off
Recently in the evening, after dark, I was travelling between Kirton and Sutterton when I came across a section of lights not illuminated.
To assist Lincolnshire Council, assuming that they were unaware of this situation, I contacted them on their website. It took a number of communications to identify the site.
In fact the council has deliberately turned off the lights 24/7 to save money. This means that when the clocks go back there will be schoolchildren on a pitch black road with a 50mph limit. They tell me that rather than make a risk assessment that would indicate just how dangerous this is they intend to wait 12 months and then decide whether to make this permanent.
They do not confirm how they will come to this conclusion. Perhaps it will depend on whether any accidents occur.
As a retired electrical engineering consultant I know that the least expensive option would be to fit the redundant columns with the same LED lights as that recently installed on the rest of the columns on this stretch of road.
The illumination would remain similar to that existing before the lights were turned off and match the new installations. Electricity consumption would reduce by about 80 per cent. The biggest expense on the original lights was maintenance, but the new lamps last 10 times as long, greatly reducing maintenance costs.
To remove the columns will be very expensive. Labour is the expense and the health and safety considerations. I doubt that they break even in less than 50 years.
I understand from LCC that this dangerous idea is also to be trailed on a number of other sites in Lincolnshire. North Lincolnshire recently announced (on BBC Look North) that they are simply changing all lamps to LED expecting (and I am sure getting) considerable financial benefits without inconveniencing their customers.
LCC have also in the side streets installed a system to turn old electrically very inefficient illumination devices off for six hours at night, saving perhaps as much as half the electricity. If they had replaced the lamps with modern LED ones they could have saved 90 per cent of the electricity, reduced the maintenance costs by 90 per cent and kept the lights on all night, reducing burglary risks and assisting the paramedics to get to to patient more quickly at night.
Decisions about A16 were totally ludicrous
I think the average cameras on the A16 are a complete waste of time and money. As a regular user of that road I often witness dangerous overtakes and the cameras have made no difference whatsoever.
The road has always been a slow road due to the sheer volume of lorries, therefore speed isn’t the problem as motorists can rarely get over 45mph. There have been accidents on the B1166 junction since the cameras have been up, it’s no safer. A roundabout would’ve been the most obvious solution there.
I cannot understand for the life of me why the A16 was not dualled, at least partly, as it’s ridiculous to have single carriageway all the way from Peterborough to Spalding when so many lorries have to use it. Because of that and no roundabout at the B1166 junction you will always have accidents on that road – speed cameras are pointless there. If anything they should have put cameras along the back way (Barrier Bank) because motorists speed down there to try to get past the lorries.
Whoever decided speed cameras were safer than a roundabout and the A16 should be single carriageway clearly never uses that road on a regular basis. Totally ludicrous.
Tax for non-observant drivers
Speed cameras are just a form of tax for drivers who are not observing what is around them. If they can’t see warning signs and a bright yellow camera, how are they going to see a pedestrian in a built up area?
I can see the damage being done
As one of the small group who visited Bicester in Oxfordshire, and Street in Somerset, prior to the decision to allow the Springfields shopping complex, and as one of the very few members who voted against it, principally because of, unlike at Street and Bicester, its distance from the town centre, and the damage that would cause Spalding, I sympathise with the business people who want to oppose current schemes.
Retail centres are fragile, especially at the present time, with burgeoning internet shopping, and radical ideas are clearly needed.
I am disappointed that the inspector allowed the appeal to station the ‘pod’ near Sainsburys.
Small towns thrive on the variety of locally-owned businesses, and on a substantial footfall from customers to town centre retail premises. Spalding will be very seriously damaged if the shopping centre expands, as the distance from the centre mitigates against people using both parts of the market town.
Fenland’s market towns have free parking, which means that people go to Wisbech, March and Whittlesey by preference, when all other factors are equal.
As someone who viscerally dislikes shopping, maybe I can dispassionately see the damage being done to retail centres by out-of-town shopping complexes.
But with the present inspectorate being so much in favour of big business, and against traditional varied town centres, I fear opposition may well be in vain.
Thanks to shoppers who gave for lifeboats
Thanks to Morrison’s shoppers who generously donated a total of £887 to the charity on FRiday and Saturday.
Such donations are vital to maintain the rescue services of the RNLI. Despite 95 per cent of RNLI personnel being volunteers, funds are always needed to run and maintain the fleet.
I would like to extend our thanks to the manager and staff of Morrison’s in Pinchbeck for their help and support.
If any of your readers want to learn more about the work of the RNLI, I recommend they watch ‘Saving Lives at Sea’ on the BBC on Tuesday nights.
RNLI Hon Treasurer Spalding Branch