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LED street lights divide opinion in Maidenhead

Will Taylor

Will Taylor

New street lights have divided opinion like night and day in Maidenhead as they continue to be installed around town.

The ‘dazzling’ LED lights have caused some residents to ask the council to turn down the brightness and one to worry about potential health risks.

Others have toasted the installation of the new street lamps, with the council planning to install more than 14,000 around the borough.

Jan Stannard, of Norfolk Road, wanted to see if the British Medical Association had advice for councils who want to install LED lights.

She cited an American Medical Association (AMA) press release, issued in June last year, which states that ‘some LED lights are harmful when used as street lighting’.

The Advertiser has seen no evidence the council’s street lights are unsafe.

“The new street lights we have in Norfolk Road are dazzlingly bright and really uncomfortable to look at,” she said. “I can’t look out of a window at night. It’s too bright. I have to close the curtains.”

Mrs Stannard said she ‘imagined the change is for cost reasons’ but worried about the AMA report.

“I believe the British Medical Association should consider issuing similar guidance to UK councils,” she added.

Her concerns included what effect the lights could have on drivers’ eyesight at night, and if it would have an impact on animals in the dark, including bats.

However, other residents have welcomed the new lights with a party.

Connie Breadner held a party in Briar Dene with residents who were thrilled to see the new additions. They made arrangements to have a drink under one at dusk on Friday.

She said: “The lights have been changed slowly but surely over the last few weeks and the new ones are a vast improvement as their light is directed towards the ground rather than the old ones whose light also shone directly into the upstairs rooms.

“Thanks to RBWM for a much improved design and very considerate installation – very well managed.”

Anyone who believes the lights in their street are too bright can apply to have the new LED lights’ brightness turned down.

Visit www.rbwm.gov.uk to complete a feedback form.

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