Street lights left burning all day in Milton Keynes are wasting energy, say protesters

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MK Council has been accused of wasting energy after admitting it takes up to three months to repair street lights that are burning 24 hours a day.

They say such faults do not pose a safety issue and are therefore not prioritised.

Green protestors have slammed the policy as a waste of both energy and tax payers’ money.

“We’d expect huge bills if we left our lights on at home all day and night. Why should we foot the bill if the council don’t repair theirs for months? It’s unfair,” said one resident.

One woman told how she called the council weeks ago to report numerous street lights around CMK station, Grafton Gate and The Quadrant were blazing day and night.

“They said they would resolve the issue in 28 days but it’s still not been done... It ought to be a higher priority,” she said.

A council spokesman told the Citizen: “Lights on during the day are not a safety issue. We will prioritise these reports as a ‘planned job’. We collate the reports and when we have a programme we will carry out repairs – typically every two to three months.”

He said the lights near CMK station were all connected to a single control unit, where the relay has burned out.

“Rather than leave the lights off overnight we have bypassed the relay so the lights are working. But this means the lights will dayburn. But this is purely a short term solution while we rebuild the electronic relay.”

In the long term the council plans to convert all the 56,000 street lights in MK to energy-saving LED, at a cost of £35m over the next 10 years.

Many of the existing lights are more than 40 years old and don’t meet modern standards.

The programme started this year with 7,500 lights being coverted to LED. These are mainly on grid roads, as these lights use more energy.