A RESIDENT on a Barry housing estate has taken a dim view on a new Vale Council street lighting system designed to save money.
Mountbatten Road resident Debbie Rowles said she believed the lights were not fit for purpose, after arriving home earlier this month to discover they had been installed in the area.
The Vale-wide light replacement programme is costing up to £250k a year.
The two-year programme, replacing 70 watt sodium (yellow light) streetlights with modern LED-type lanterns, is funded by the Local Government Borrowing Initiative.
Mrs Rowles said: “On entering the street I thought we were experiencing a power cut.
“These lights are not fit for purpose as they offer hardly any illumination whatsoever, even on the highway or footpath.
“They only illuminate the ground directly below each lamp.
“On receiving a hire car for work purposes I could not see the markings on the key fob to determine which button to press to open the door.
“Also now, one lamp outside my adjacent neighbour's property doesn't work at all.
“We have elderly and disabled neighbours and I fear that they may fall or hurt themselves in the dark. I still think crime will be encouraged as I can hardly see my neighbour's house across the road from me. Also I do not feel safe walking in my own street at night now due to how dark it is.
“I am absolutely outraged at the change to the lighting. It is totally inadequate and not fit for purpose. This has plunged the street into total darkness. This will encourage crime and is downright dangerous.
This is complete disrespect for the Vale residents and our security. I am extremely worried for the safety of myself, my home and my property.
"I am absolutely furious and I just hope no one falls and injured themselves."
Vale Council operational manager highways and engineering Michael Clogg said the LED installation would reduce street lighting energy and maintenance costs and assist in reducing the council’s carbon footprint in line with its Carbon Management Plan.
He said: “The LED lanterns provide a directional light rather than a diffused glow and are installed at the optimum angle to efficiently light the road and footway thus reducing light pollution.”
But one Lundy Park resident said he felt the lights could dazzle motorists and that the money would be better spent on road repairs.
Mr Clogg said: “Whilst they can dazzle if you look directly at them, similar to other lights, they produce no additional glare which could be considered a hazard to motorists under normal driving conditions.”