More than 1700 street lights in Edinburgh are broken

St John's Street, lamp post, where part of the cover is hanging perilously off the metal top. Picture: TSPL
St John's Street, lamp post, where part of the cover is hanging perilously off the metal top. Picture: TSPL
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MORE than 1700 street lights in the Capital are broken, new figures show.

The data, released through a Freedom of Information request, reveals that 1707 street lights in Edinburgh need repaired.

The faults have raised concerns for the safety of people walking in the dark. Stuart Hay, director of Living Streets Scotland, has demanded swift action from councils.

He said: “Living Streets believes that streets must be safe at all times for users. Night-time black spots will leave vulnerable people fearful of leaving homes. We want to see more street inspections, including at night, and much simpler and responsive fault reporting systems so this problem can be tackled.”

City council transport leader Lesley Hinds agreed that the number of broken lights was “unacceptable”.

She said: “We understand that a faulty street light can be frustrating. We are 
striving to minimise the number of defective street lights, which at present are unacceptable.

“However, any outrage of lamps deemed to cause a risk to public safety – such as several lights in the same street – will be treated as an emergency and prioritised for repair.

“In the long term, our 
citywide replacement of 
lanterns with LED lights will not only save energy but will provide a more reliable light source, resulting in fewer defects.”

Nick Lloyd, road safety manager for The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, added: “Councils should have procedures in place which allow them to rectify faults in a timely fashion.

“Street lighting improves safety for drivers, riders and pedestrians.

“Driving outside of daylight hours is more dangerous and pedestrians and vulnerable road users also suffer from decreased visibility in the dark.

“The presence of lighting not only reduces the risk of traffic accidents but also their severity.”

The figures have also revealed that 2960 street lamps in Glasgow are broken and in need of repair.

But a spokesman for Glasgow city council said that if anyone discovers a broken street light there, it could be reported to RALF – their Roads and Lighting department.

He said: “The public can report a fault to RALF at anytime so we can repair problems as soon as possible.

“In addition to the ongoing improvement works across the city, the council has recently agreed a further £2.5m investment.

“This will allow some 6000 lanterns to be upgraded.”