11:40am Friday 22nd March 2013
By Adam Binnie
Faulty street light components, which were replaced after causing large parts of the county to be plunged into darkness a year ago, have malfunctioned again.
Parts of Watford and Bushey were left without light last night as street lamps turned themselves off at random.
The blackouts appeared to mostly be affecting street lamps which are included in the county’s "part-night" lighting scheme, in West, central and north Watford, and parts of Bushey.
Hertfordshire’s County Council’s Jonathan Morrell said: "We were anticipating a small number of possible faults around the spring clock change at the end of March following a similar problem last year which was caused by a manufacturing fault in the photocell."
Last year more than 40,000 streetlight components had to be replaced after they were deemed to be the cause of a fault which saw thousands of streetlights randomly cutting out in March.
Now it appears the component is at fault again, having reacted to the clocks changing too early, and the problem is likely to continue for the next week.
County councillor Steven Giles-Medhurst said: "Virtually every single street light has a fault, Ringway have had 800 complaints already.
"It’s something to do with the clocks going back, the company assured us it won’t happen again but it has. How can we trust that it won’t happen again?
"Questions have to be asked, it beggars belief. Clearly this whole process of turning off the street lights is a complete farce."
County councillor Nigel Bell said: "It’s completely outrageous and totally unacceptable; it’s dangerous for motorists to be driving around in it.
"We need a proper explanation and to make sure that tax-payers don’t have to pay the bill."
Mr Morrell said the council is working with their contractors, Amey Lafarge, to understand and fix the problem.
If any issues continue into next week or to report any other highways faults visit www.hertsdirect.org/highwayfaults
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