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Inadequate illumination on this busy B road (Eastcote Road)

Reported in the Street lighting category by Nick Roberts at 15:19, Sat 15 September 2018

Sent to Hillingdon Borough Council less than a minute later

I regularly drive down this road during the hours of daylight, without issue. Recently, I had to use it at night and found that the level of illumination, following a change to LED illuminators, is grossly inadequate. The lighting currently installed may be adequate for use on narrower side street but in terms of power of output is not sufficient to safely use on this busy B road (2000 cars an hour rush hour ?)- a road which has , most of the time, a significant number of householders vehicles parked against the kerb. Not only did I find that the illumination was insufficient in quantity but also the type of light provided, i.e. heavily weighted towards the blue end of the spectrum i.e. higher frequency, for me, reduced the effective viewing distance and detail available - I was having difficulty reading a number plate at 5 car lengths (20m). Also these lights seem to have a narrow angle/area of illumination and there is very little illumination outside this area i.e. little spill over compared with halogens or sodium lamps.

Half the business of safe driving is about composing, for the purpose of on-the-fly risk assessment, a visual picture of one's surroundings and that includes static objects as well as moving ones - the moving ones being more relevant. If, by reason of poor illumination and narrow illumination arc, the driver cannot obtain all the relevant visual data to compose his or her spatial picture of the immediate surroundings then the on-going risk assessment by the driver is limited and, consequently, driving errors will increase and the accident rate increase- this also applies to pedestrians crossing the road.

Further, it is well known that older drivers/pedestrians have difficulty getting a good picture of their surroundings in predominantly blue light.

I would suggest that either the existing illuminators be changed for ones with a greater power output and perhaps modified, using a reflector and a colour filter to increase the illuminated area, eliminate the sharp "Cut-off" of outside the illuminated patch and change the colour temperature to improve the viewing experience of older road users, or that the number of lights per 100 metres be increased. Failing that, reduce the speed limit at night and clear carriageway obstructing parked cars from the kerbside.

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Updates

  • I haven't been down this road recently in the hours of darkness, so couldn't say.

    I wouldn't imagine this will ever get fixed.

    They've done a cheapo refurbishment exercise and installed LED lights, with limited cones of illumination, into the original lamp standards which originally held halogens lamps with a much wider cone of illumination. The original halogens joined-up the illumination between lamp standards, the new LEDs don't and leave substantial dark patches. Only way to change that is change the LEDS for units with a wider cones of illumination or move the lamp standards nearer together - financially out of the question on austerity Phil's watch.

    In the gig economy, none of the animated monkies will notice anything until they run into something/someone in a dark patch on a wet winter night.

    As they say on the TV advert "Should have gone to . . . a lighting consultant"

    Posted by Nick Roberts at 15:58, Sat 13 October 2018
    Still open, via questionnaire

  • One wonders what the Role of the Road Research Laboratory is in these matters. Have they approved this type of installation after suitable testing or is it another "Desktop study"

    Posted by Nick Roberts at 23:49, Tue 30 October 2018

  • Still open, via questionnaire, 02:05, Wed 14 November 2018

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