Somerset

Somerset's traffic and street lights could cause safety risk

Nearly 100 traffic lights in Somerset, a third of the county's stock, could cause a risk to public safety, the county council has said.

It is now investing £250,000 to repair and replace them, after accepting the safety of the public could be affected.

The average age of the stock of traffic signals - and the county's 54,000 street lights - is increasing.

Councillor Harvey Siggs said currently all lights are safe despite being "beyond their design life".

The design life for both traffic lights and lighting columns is normally around 30 years.

"Design life is a very difficult thing. It's a bit like sell-by dates," added the Conservative councillor who is in charge of highways.

"We do have a problem, not just our traffic lights but our lighting columns, [and they] are all past some of their sell-by dates.

"We will have to look at the challenge. At the moment they are all safe - well past design life but still going strong."

In its draft budget, Somerset County Council admitted that over time, the safety of the public could be affected if these lights are not replaced.

The £250,000 upgrade is part of a multimillion pound investment programme to repair the county's highways.

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