Wigan Council currently changes and cleans most lamps every four years, to coincide with the lamp type's expected life, because this is more economical than waiting for individual random failures.
The street lighting units are also electrically tested and inspected at these visits to make sure that they comply with regulations and to check the electrical and structural safety of the system.
There is a small budget to undertake a programme of specialist testing of the structural integrity of steel columns. This also assists in prioritising our replacements.
Some newly fitted columns have a 70-100 year life expectancy. Additionally, some of the new street lighting lanterns operate by using light emitting diodes (LEDs) which are designed to operate for around 10-15 years, rather than conventional lamps. Other lighting units are now programmed to operate variable levels of lighting, that is linked into the volume of traffic using the highway, through the hours of darkness.
Both of these technologies reduce the council's energy consumption, carbon footprint and reduces the cost of energy used.
Working in partnership
Much of the council's work is done in association with external organisations, private companies and agencies. NPower is currently the council's electricity supplier after winning the contract in competition with other companies.
In Wigan Borough, we work closely with Electricity North West (ENW), who are the council's electrical service connection supplier. Tasks must be co-ordinated to ensure that after the council has completed work, the supply is operational and the lights work.