Cambridgeshire

Elton overhauls "blinking" street lamps

Elton lights Image copyright Richard Donoyou
Image caption Before and after: Elton's street lights are getting an overhaul

The distinctive street lights of a village are being replaced after 50 years because locals are fed up of them failing.

Elton, near Peterborough, has 34 "historic-looking" lamps which "go out, blink and consistently fail", according to the parish council.

The lamps will be upgraded over two years at a cost of £40,000.

Council chairman Richard Donoyou said: "The glass is badly cracked and the bulbs inside consistently fail."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Most of Elton's buildings were constructed using sandstone, giving the village a uniform feel

Thirty-four street lights were installed in the village in the early 1960s in an "historic-looking" style of swan neck lamp holders mounted on fluted cast iron columns.

After four years of research, they will be replaced with energy-efficient Albany lanterns which Mr Donoyou said would "retain the village character which people value so much".

"These old lights had become very unreliable - and the wiring standards were not the same half a century ago," he said.

'Potential hazards'

David Housden, Elton's oldest male resident at 90 years of age, said the new lights would improve safety.

"Elton's footpaths are not uniform and have many steps and slopes, bollards and trees, which all present potential hazards," he said.

"The new lights have been prioritised to provide good lighting to our shop, church, village hall and other community facilities."

Image copyright Google
Image caption The village of Elton lies on the Cambridgeshire Northamptonshire border

Contractor Phil Peacock described the project as "small and unusual".

"Since almost every light is different in one way or other, it is not a job where a standard specification can be applied and our team have needed to think on their feet," he said.

Cambridgeshire County Council has provided £20,000 towards the upgrade - matched by the parish council.

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