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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:46 pm 
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This isn't your doing David, is it? ;)

(Retweeted by @UKASTLE)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:19 am 
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Alex wrote:
This isn't your doing David, is it? ;)

(Retweeted by @UKASTLE)

Sadly not, but up until early this week I did look longingly down at all the unspoilt SOX lighting up the A127 to the east of the M25 while on my daily commute to work...and simultaneously wondering if there were any reasonably accessible bridges to capture it on film before it was too late. Most of the A127 SOX within sight of the M25 was removed this week, so it is too late now.  :(

Up until a little while ago, the A127 to the west of the M25 was also SOX-lit, with knockdowns replaced with more SOX, but that gave way to TFL's LED roll-out.

In the London and the South East thread, A13James wrote:
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.58770 ... T9V3TA!2e0
The best installation in Essex IMO. It'll be a sad day when these go.
In the London and the South East thread, David wrote:
They look even better at night  :lol:

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And thankfully there's no sign of them being replaced anytime soon, as they've all just been re-celled with Telensa Telecells to allow them to be switched off at midnight like rest of the county.

Up until the beginning of this month, the A127 between the M25 and Rayleigh (some 14-miles) was continuously-lit with SOX. The road was lit with GR150s, Z9554s, Z9554Ms and MA50s. SON was sparingly used in just three locations that needed the lighting levels boosted for safety reasons - the B186 junction, the Fortune of War roundabout and the S-bend just before the A130. But just three years after the above post from A13James, the lighting crews are having to revisit every lamp column along the A127 once again (there must be a thousand of them!), but this time to fit LED lanterns.

I drove along the A127 from the M25 to Rayleigh on my way home from work last night (25th February 2017), and if the lighting crews started work on February 9th, as this statement from Essex County Council suggests, then they have motored along, with circa. 13 of the 14 miles between the M25 and Rayleigh now converted to LED. So it's an end to scenes like this:

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^ This photograph is from this Southend Echo newspaper report.

One onimous thing to note from the Essex County Council statement is this sentence about half way down the page:

"As part of the programme, many streetlights requiring repair are being upgraded to LEDs to reduce maintenance costs."

In December 2016, David wrote:
We already know that Clacton-on-Sea and the surrounding towns are due to have all the street lighting that stays on all night converted to LED before the end of 2018. Thankfully the vast majority of the street lighting in this post is subject to Essex County Council's part-night lighting policy and will be unaffected by the change. Therefore I would anticipate - almost expect - that the vast majority of the street lighting in this post will still be around in its current form in 2019  :)

If Essex County Council have stopped repairing their existing lighting stock in favour of swapping out any lanterns requiring a visit with an LED lantern, then that could hasten the demise of SOX far quicker than expected. In fact there appears to be circumstantial evidence emerging (based just from my own observations in the last couple of months) that Essex County Council may have ceased purchasing new SOX lamps (and possibly MBF lamps), and are electing to replace the whole lantern with an LED lantern instead of fitting a new bulb.

In Clacton for example, the number of street lights that are out at the moment seems a little higher than usual. This may simply be due to it being winter, meaning more time is spent travelling around and observing the town at night. But this winter I cannot recall seeing a street light that had previously been out of light being relamped (and brought back into light) for about three months. In November 2016, the INDO Air 1 or Air 1+ side road LED lantern made its debut in Clacton, and this month (February 2017) has seen main road LED street lighting appear in Clacton for the first time. All the photographs in this post were taken on 19th February 2017.

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This street light in London Road, Clacton on Sea, used to be a Philips MA90. It went out of light about a month ago, and a new SOX lamp would probaby have seen in brought back into light.

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The same street lamp photographed in daylight reveals the new lantern to be a Philips/WRTL Luma.

In December 2016, David wrote:
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A few clusters of the original installation still survive, e.g. this group of five Eleco GR100s in Wellesley Road above.

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The same view in February 2017 - the first Eleco GR100 may have just needed a new SOX lamp to bring it back into light, but an LED lantern has been fitted instead.

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Another view of the same unsleeved Concrete Utilities "Avenue 3DNN" column, which is around 50 years old, with its new LED lantern.

Notably, when the Essex County Council LED street lighting trial came to Colchester, all unsleeved and sleeved concrete columns were left alone by the street lighting crews, leaving some streets as a patchwork of white and orange.

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Stand far enough away from the new Philips/WRTL Luma, and it almost becomes invisible. This third picture of the same column in Wellesley Road shows the new LED lantern hiding in amongst the Eleco GR100s and a Philips MA90 casual replacement.

In December 2016, David wrote:
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Clacton-on-Sea itself still has many unsleeved Concrete Utilities Avenue 3DNN columns, e.g. in Wellesley Road above. They carry an assortment of SOX and occasionally SON lanterns, including many original-spec Thorn Alpha Nines and Eleco GR100s (as above) with the Philips MA90 being a popular casual replacement.

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The same view of Wellesley Road at night is currently unspoilt by LED casual replacements, but there are enough lanterns out of light to suggest LED could be arriving here soon.

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Two new LED lanterns (both on the left of the picture) have appeared in St. John's Road, Clacton-on-Sea.

In December 2016, David wrote:
Only one Thorn Alpha One on an unsleeved Avenue 3DNN column still survives in the town - in Jaywick Lane. It is one of only two Thorn Alpha Ones still in the town.

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LED is yet to arrive in Jaywick Lane. The nearest street lamp is this photograph is the Thorn Alpha One on the unsleeved "Avenue 3DNN" column referred to above. It is the only one left in a town which 50 years ago had hundreds of Alpha Ones on unsleeved Avenue 3DNN columns.

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The longest straight SOX-lit road yet to be spoilt by the arrival of LED is King's Parade, which runs along the sea front of Holland-on-Sea. The above photograph was taken from the Clacton end of Holland-on-Sea. Once again there are enough lights out to suggest that LED could be arriving here soon.

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Kings's Parade in Holland-on-Sea, as photographed from the other end (the Holland Haven end).

If Essex County Council has genuinely stopped buying SOX lamps, Essex could be SOX-free in as little as six years. That Nelly Furtado song is back in my head again.  :(


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:48 pm 
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This is A13James under a different name, something went wrong and I ended up not being able to log in to that account anymore. From now on, I will only be using this account.

Lumas appeared here in Castle Point last summer, when all the lighting that stays on all night was replaced with LED. Since then,, similarly to what has happened in Clacton, Lumas have been used to replace any SOX lights that have failed, which would sadly support David's suggestion of ECC no longer buying SOX lamps. In addition, when a new column is installed casually, it always has a Luma, regardless of what is being replaced.
That's truely tragic about the SOX on the A127 being replaced, I haven't been along that stretch for a couple of months, so haven't seen the new lights yet, but I would presume that they are Lumas? Last Saturday, (25th Feb) I passed over the A127 on the A130 overbridge near Rayleigh, and can confirm that the SOX, and Trafficvisions on the bend immediately to the West were all still in place then.
The LED Urbis Ampera has taken a very firm grip on Southend now, replacments are not finished yet but a lot has been done. I'll say more on that in later posts.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:48 pm 
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I've noticed in Cressing,  near the Braintree Road, there appears to be several Philips MI26 lanterns fitted with LED units instead of the lanterns being replaced by Indo Air 1s. Lots of pole mounted streetlights round here.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:49 pm 
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JamesC01 wrote:
That's truely tragic about the SOX on the A127 being replaced, I haven't been along that stretch for a couple of months, so haven't seen the new lights yet, but I would presume that they are Lumas? Last Saturday, (25th Feb) I passed over the A127 on the A130 overbridge near Rayleigh, and can confirm that the SOX, and Trafficvisions on the bend immediately to the West were all still in place then.
When I drove along the A127 just over a week ago, the LEDs stopped at the Shell garage on the corner of Hovefields Lane, which is just out of sight of the Fairglen interchange (junction with A130).

On the assumption the street lighting crews doing the conversions are working every weeknight, there is a good chance they will have got through the Fairglen interchange by now and will be well on their way into Rayleigh, upon where they'll reach the Southend Borough Council lighting, which I believe is already converted to LED or is about to be.

With the unbroken SOX lighting on the northeastern quadrant of the M25 removed in various phases in the last few years, the SOX lighting on the A120 Braintree to Colchester road almost certainly under threat of removal, and miles and miles of SOX lighting removed from the A127 in the space of a month, there is now only one substantial installation of large wattage SOX left in Essex that I can think of. All the photographs in this post were taken this week (March 2017).

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The 4-mile fully-lit stretch of the A13 between North Stifford and Orsett still retains its original installation of Philips MA60s on the mainline dual carriageway and Philips MA50s on the slip roads.

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This photograph and the photograph above were taken looking west (towards London) from the A13's junction with the A1012 (the Stifford interchange).

Note in these and the following photographs how well-maintained the installation is, with very few - if any - lamps out in many of these photographs.

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This photograph looks east towards Southend, as viewed from the roundabout over the A13.

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Another view looking east towards Southend, as viewed from the A1012 roundabout over the A13.

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The view looking west (towards London) from the A1012 roundabout over the A13.

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A view looking east towards Southend showing the 180W SOX on the A13 continuing through the junction, and once again well-maintained with nearly every lantern in light.

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Another view looking west towards London from the A1012 roundabout over the A13. I can only see one light out!

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A similar view looking east towards Southend from the A1012 roundabout over the A13.

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A wideangle view of the above photograph looking east towards Southend.

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One last view of the Philips MA60s on the A13 continuing through the junction, but this time looking west towards London, and once again everything is well-maintained with every lantern in light.

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The next junction on the SOX-lit section of the A13 is a freeflow "trumpet" junction with the A1089 Tilbury Dock Approach Road (the Baker Street interchange) which was built in the early 1980s.

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A wideangle view of the above photograph, taken above the A1089 Tilbury Dock Approach Road looking north to its junction with the A13.

Notably, the A13 transfers ownership from Highways England to Essex County Council at this junction, and Highways England's authority continues along the A1089 to Tilbury Docks.

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The A1089 Tilbury Docks Approach Road is another treat for large-wattage SOX fans, as it is also lit along its length with 180W SOX which may date back to the road's construction in the early 1980s. Add the Tilbury Docks Approach Road SOX to the short section of SOX between North Stifford and the junction with the A1089 and it adds up to circa. 5 miles of unbroken SOX lighting.

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The A1089 Tilbury Docks Approach Road also uses an opposed lighting arrangement in places instead of the more traditional lighting in the central reservation, but once again it is 180W SOX.

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The A1089 Tilbury Docks Approach Road near to its junction with the A126 Marshfoot interchange.

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Another photograph of the A1089 Marshfoot interchange, looking south towards Tilbury docks (in the background).

The SOX lighting comes to a temporary stop at the Asda roundabout, which sounds like a relatively new addition to the road. The roundabout also heralds the end of the dual carriageway, but the SOX lighting continues along the A1089 south of the roundabout, with the wattage downgraded to 135W.

For any fans of large-wattage SOX out there, I think the A13 between North Stifford and Orsett and the A1089 between Tilbury Docks and its junction with with the A13 could be the last opportunity in Essex to see a large, unspoilt and well-maintained installation of 180W SOX lighting.

Long may it last!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:14 pm 
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Yes, the A127 in Southend has already been converted to LED, which if I'm not mistaken will soon mean unbroken LED lighting from the centre of Southend all the way to the junction with the M25 and I think (but I'm not certain) further into London.
It's been a while since I used that section of the A13 at night. It's great to see SOX still in such great condition in 2017 and long may it last. There was a time when the A13 was lit only by SOX from the Sadlers Farm Roundabout junction with the A130 to the M25, but that was quite a few years ago now, and now the only SOX remaining between the A1089 and the A130 is a short poorly maintained stretch to the South of Basildon, which is owned by Essex County Council and if the A127 is anything to go by, may be replaced very soon.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:17 pm 
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Crossed over the A127 on the A129 at the Rayleigh Weir junction this evening, and can confirm LED lights have arrived there. Interestingly it looked as if new columns had been installed, or if not then definitely new brackets. I will try to get back to the 127 during the day soon when the lights are off to see for certain


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:59 pm 
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JamesC01 wrote:
Crossed over the A127 on the A129 at the Rayleigh Weir junction this evening, and can confirm LED lights have arrived there. Interestingly it looked as if new columns had been installed, or if not then definitely new brackets.

Yes, I spotted that myself last week. The A127 could well be LED along its entire length now (from where it starts at Gallows Corner in Romford to where it ends in the middle of Southend).

14 miles of virtually continuous 135W SOX wiped out in little over a month - that should be a warning to us enthusiasts to enjoy SOX while it is still around. We are so lucky that Essex never embraced SON or white light sources like metal halide or the new fluorescents in great numbers. The vast majority of street lighting in Essex is still SOX at the moment, but there is growing circumstantial evidence to suggest that Essex County Council may have stopped buying SOX lamps.

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These Eleco GR100s in Skelmersdale Road, Clacton-on-Sea, have done perfectly good service to Clacton for approximately 50 years, and the GR100 on the second column in in this photograph may only have needed a new SOX lamp to bring it back into light, but a Philips Luma has been fitted instead. Photograph taken in March 2017.

David wrote:
In December 2016, David wrote:
Only one Thorn Alpha One on an unsleeved Avenue 3DNN column still survives in the town - in Jaywick Lane. It is one of only two Thorn Alpha Ones still in the town.
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LED is yet to arrive in Jaywick Lane. The nearest street lamp is this photograph is the Thorn Alpha One on the unsleeved "Avenue 3DNN" column referred to above. It is the only one left in a town which 50 years ago had hundreds of Alpha Ones on unsleeved Avenue 3DNN columns.

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The same view in daylight, as photographed last weekend (March 2017). The photographs in this post record the installation for posterity, as evidence suggests it will go LED when its SOX lamp expires.

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A close-up view of the last remaining Thorn Alpha One on an unsleeved Concrete Utilities "Avenue 3DNN" column in Clacton-on-Sea.

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50 years ago, Clacton-on-Sea, Holland-on-Sea and the roads leading into Jaywick (Jaywick Lane, where this column is, and West Road) had hundreds of Alpha Ones on unsleeved Avenue 3DNN columns.

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The view looking north up Jaywick Lane towards St. John's Road.

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Lighting-up time in Jaywick Lane. Since Telensa telecells were installed to re-introduce part-night lighting to Essex, all street lighting in a particular area tends to switch on and off in unison (i.e. group switched).

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Two close-up views, the first taken straight after switch-on.

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Looking north up Jaywick Lane towards St. John's Road after switch-on.

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Looking south down Jaywick Lane towards the coast and Jaywick itself.

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A final close-up as the lamp reaches full brightness.

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The last photograph in this post looks north up Jaywick Lane towards St. John's Road.

Clacton-on-Sea only has two Alpha Ones left. The other one is on a Fabrikat casual replacement column installed in St. Osyth Road in the 1970s. It was visible out of the windows of my reception class at St. Osyth Road County Infants School in circa. 1978!

Colchester is doing a little better. It probably has circa. 50 Alpha Ones left dotted around in various locations. The last few decent unspoilt installations, including the University of Essex and a section of Cowdray Avenue, are now gone, and once again there is circumstantial evidence to suggest that those Alpha Ones that are left will be scrapped for LED as soon as their SOX lamps expire. Philips Luma casual replacements have also started to appear in Colchester.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:43 am 
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I have now noticed a few Philips Lumas around town, a couple replaced GEC Z946/54 lamterns I think, and I saw another couple, one post topped on a new column, and another on a sleeved concrete.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:36 pm 
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I can comfirm that the new LED lighting on the A127 consists of Lumas on new brackets but on the original columns. Looks pretty nice I must admit, but not as nice as the old SOX
As I suspected might happen, the MA60s on the A13 South of Basildon have been given the same treatment, new brackets and Lumas. Once an unspoilt line of SOX between the A130 and the M25, now just the small section of SOX on the A13  near Thurrock remains, which was recently documented by David.

Edit Sunday 9/4/17

It would also seem that another batch of Lumas have been received, as when I was out earlier today, I noticed that quite a good number of SOX lanterns that had not been working have now been replaced with new Lumas, not relamped.
We may well be looking at the beginning of the end for the SOX that has dominated Essex's streets for so long  :cry:


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