Ladywell lamp post


In Lewisham, progress is not linear.

BC Facebooker Adele has posted this image of street lights in Ladywell being replaced with newer, uglier versions (on the left).

37 comments:

Brockley Jon said...

Oh dear. Let me guess - costs more to upgrade the old one to be energy efficient than to chuck it away and put in a new (ugly) one. The new one doesn't even look new - is it second hand? (I guess that's a bit better!)

Anonymous said...

Interesting use of funds in these austere times. Can't you just change the light bulb to make it more energy efficient?

Anonymous said...

Lets not even ask how much procurement bought the light (bulbs) for.

Anonymous said...

Cue Max....

bumbags said...

Outrageous that that has been given budget- what exactly is wrong with the old one?
I dread to think of the cost of this... materials, labour, office staff... SHOCKING waste of money.

max said...

Well, you don't need my commentary here to tell you if standards have slipped or improved.
There's the picture, you use your eyes.

Adele said...

The old lights are lovely, really quite ornate, though the paint is peeling and exposed areas are now rusting. I would happily set to work on restoring my nearest one if this meant we could keep them!

max said...

Still, if you really want some extra comment from me, I'll let you ponder on the fact that following a successful PFI outsourcing of maintenance and replacement this year and for the next 24 the cost of street lighting in Lewisham is increasing of about 50%, but of course we don't care because it's paid by Central Government through PFI credits (your income tax), not Lewisham Council (your Council Tax).

barryls said...

And you actually thought one day the London Borough of Lewisham would regenerate? Wrong.

Anonymous said...

More proof that life gets a little sh**ier with each passing day.

Brockley Jon said...

@anon above, LOL!

Sue said...

It's a PFI scheme jointly with Croydon Council at a cost of £74 over 25 years. Skanska-Laing consortium won the contract.

It's been in the pipeline for a few years now. Not sure what level of energy efficiency they went for in the end, as technology was developing at a considerably faster rate than your average PFI contract is negotiated.

Sue said...

Sorry, that should have read £74 million!

max said...

That press release from the contractors looks like written with the aim of making it in the Private Eye.

“Not only will the project strengthen the local economy but it will also create safer streets. We look forward to working with the Councils and Skanska to deliver an efficient, ‘best in class’ and value for money street lighting service to the residents and ratepayers of Croydon and Lewisham.”

Complete twaddle. It won't strenghten the local economy in the slightest, if anything the opposite is true. Moreover "best in class" and "value for money" and two incompatible concepts.

Anyway, Adele is correct, what's wrong with painting perfectly good lamp posts instead of changing them?

Tamsin said...

It's the wrong sort of budget.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Lewisham Council, Brockley continues to be aounter cyclical with most of London. Even Peckham and Brixton improve quickly while Brockley is sunk into an EXPENSIVE oblivious bit by bit

Confused of Brockley said...

In light of Brockley Jon's comment above can someone enlighten me as to whether LOL means "Lots of Love"
or "Laugh out Loud"?

mb said...

Total speculation on my part but there COULD be a structural problem with the lamp post? looks like cast/wrought iron? could be cracked or have some serious corrosion? I don't know.

Or possibly the contract that the council has means their contractor only gets paid if they carry out works in their contractural scope, so Lewisham are locked in?

Dunno, I'm guessing.

Anonymous said...

Is it Conways?

Mb said...

The barrier says Laing O'Rourke but that may not be signifficant. It's worth noting that these big companies (Conways, Costain, Laing O'Rourke)are well respected organisations and are capable of doing work to the highest standard, indeed Laing O'Rourke are heavily involved at Farringdon and are top notch, but the quality varies. You can get a specific work team who are rubbish and get a shoddy job (I give you Brockley Station stairs/ramp), you need to sit on them. Contractors need policing and are well versed in all the contractural tricks to avoid rectifying faults.

Anonymous said...

Any cursory reading of the Council's documents will tell you that the borough's street lights are incredibly old and are rotting from the inside. A tall, thin, metal structure that is rotting and rusting from the inside is more than liable to fall over and kill someone which, I think has actually happened a couple of times in South London over the past couple of years.

I also note that the new lights can be turned up individually to maximum luminoscity by CCTV operators if they see anti-social behaviour in the area.

max said...

Ok, click here for the papers about the contract.

I only had a quick speed-read, it tells you a lot of interesting data about street lights in Lewisham and Croydon, sometimes they are lumped together so difficult to say what is where, and we are told that the two boroughs have rather different assets.

Surely some lamp posts need replacing but I can't read anywhwere saying that there are large numbers of them rotting from the inside to a level of danger, this will of course be the case sometimes but this contract sets the plan to replace 90% of street lights over a 25 years period, i.e. not in a hurry, so it can't be that bad.

mb said...

From the blurb....

Also makes a point about 'whole life costs' inspection and maintenance going forward would be less for new colums I assume. As always it's a balance, aesthetics and heritage should be looked at where appropriate. The info does not look like it considered that as significant, perhaps it should off? Or at least found a more sympathetic new design.

I'm a little ambivalent about it to be honest, but I'm an engineer.

Safety Problems
Structural testing of columns should take place at least once in every twelve years – and every six years for columns over thirty years old – as per Institution of Lighting Engineers guidelines. It is recommended that electrical testing takes place on a six year rotation. Apart from specific programmes (eg 2005 works on the testing of the borough’s concrete columns) Croydon has not generally adopted these guidelines and the detailed condition of the electrical circuitry and structural integrity of the borough’s columns is unconfirmed.
Lewisham began structural testing of the oldest columns in 2001 and inspections are due again in June 2007. Formerly, electrical inspections coincided with the three year re-lamping cycle. However the re-lamping policy has now been altered so that of lamps now burn to failure, largely on economic grounds to assist in funding failing lamp columns. In view of this, the electrical condition of the equipment has some history but does not cover the entire inventory.

layman said...

Would aluminium columns eliminate the corrosion problem? If so, is this what they are replacing them with? If not, why not?

mb said...

no. ally can still corrode and they would cost a lot more. Galvanised steel coloums could last well over 100 years if done properly.

max said...

Finally a fault in Apple computers, I want a galvanized steel laptop now.

layman said...

I see, any idea what the new poles are made of?

Danja said...

From the picture, galvanised steel.

layman said...

Thanks, at least the council has that bit right.

Danja said...

White-anodised aluminium lamp-posts would be very Apple (with the price tag).

Danja said...

That hyphen thing is infectious, Nick.

Monkeyboy said...

Who knew that lamp posts could be so facinating..... *tumble weed*

Anonymous said...

At least they have residents only parking in that street!

Tressilliana said...

I hope they've chosen lampposts that will keep the light on the pavements as far as possible. Too many streetlamps send light in all directions, which makes life hard for amateur astronomers (like my husband).

Anonymous said...

London isn't that good for Astronomer's.

Anonymous said...

why when the old ones are better????

Anonymous said...

I hope they replace that original(?) lampost outside Lewisham Library, which does have a lantern and half the support arm is missing.

Either repair it or get rid of it otherwise it looks like a joke.

If you walk along the promenade by Lewisham hospital there's a right old mix of lamps. About 5 retro lamps were installed till the money ran out, but there are few 1970's lamps from a previous spend and some bulk standard lamposts of a different design.

Then there are the TFL lamps that light the road and the remains of blue on green lighting.

That's a another 2-3 year project that's withered on the vine.


Lamposts lovers should take a walk up Dacre Road to Blackheath, where there appear to be some rather old lamps...which are surprise as Lewisham is an urban landscape.

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