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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:51 am 
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As ever, brilliant photos and a very informative post David.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:16 pm 
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Thank you Phosco152!  :)

With Essex County Council potentially moving away from the SON-running Phosco P567A lantern in favour of the INDO Air 1 / Air 1+ LED lantern for side road casual replacements, a trip to Frinton-on-Sea was in order, to see what was happening to the town's last remaining unspoilt mercury-lit streets.

In the last few years, there has been an accelerated effort to remove a large quantity of Frinton-on-Sea's original CU "Byway X" columns from the 1960s, as many of these columns are now over 50 years old (see post 241 from March 2016). The mercury-running Phosco P111s installed at the same time have also gone, to be replaced with SON-running Phosco P111s in the conservation area and SON-running Phosco P567s and P567As in the streets not covered by the conservation area.

Up until a few years ago, only knock-downs were replaced, and the lantern of choice was the mercury-running Phosco P111 in keeping with the rest of the town's lighting. This consistency was maintained for over 4 decades.

With column replacements still ongoing in the town, the take-up of the new INDO Air 1 / Air 1+ LED lantern may be quicker in Frinton-on-Sea than elsewhere, e.g. Clacton-on-Sea or Colchester, so it is worth adding a few supplementary photographs taken in Frinton-on-Sea two weeks ago (December 2016) to yesterday's post.

In March 2016, David wrote:
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The change from MBF/U to SON has gathered momentum in the last year or so, and the gentle night-time appearance of the last mercury-lit town that I know of in Essex is changing significantly. This stretch of Hadleigh Road on the left escapes for now, but the top end of The Crescent on the right has been changed over to SON.
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The same view in December 2016 (albeit photographed in fog). Many of the original "Byway X" columns in Hadleigh Road on the left have now been replaced, but unlike other recent replacements, white light has been retained by using the INDO Air 1 / Air 1+ LED lantern instead of the expected Phosco P567A.

In April 2016, David wrote:
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The column at the junction was replaced before the current spate of column replacements, hence it is unaffected by the current works and will retain its mercury-running Phosco P111 casual replacement.

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Another view of Hadleigh Road and The Crescent in December 2016. Hadleigh Road sits outside the conservation area and is fitted with INDO Air 1 / Air 1+ LED lanterns, whilst The Crescent on the right is within the conservation area and is fitted with SON-running Phosco P111s.

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Hadleigh Road in December 2016, with new LED lanterns interspersed with a couple of mercury-running Phosco P111s.

In March 2016, David wrote:
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Thankfully there are still some unspoilt pockets of mercury left in Frinton to enjoy for a little while longer, e.g. Hadleigh Road as viewed in the opposite direction of the tenth image in this post. There are no inconsistent mounting heights here!
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The same view in December 2016.

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Another view of the above INDO Air 1 / Air 1+ LED lanterns in Frinton-on-Sea.

In March 2016, David wrote:
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Another part of Hadleigh Road that is still enjoying the gentle glow of mercury lighting for the time being. Sadly such installations are on borrowed time.
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The same view in December 2016.

In April 2016, David wrote:
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Once again the closest column in this picture was replaced before the current spate of column replacements, hence it is unaffected by the current works and will retain its mercury-running Phosco P111 casual replacement.

In March 2016, David wrote:
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This corner in The Crescent has escaped the new lighting for now and is still bathed in gentle mercury light.
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As of December 2016, this unspoilt pocket of mercury is no more.

In conclusion, there may still be unspoilt pockets of mercury left in Frinton-on-Sea, but they are getting harder to find thanks to what seems to be a coordinated effort to rid the town of many of its original CU "Byway X" columns from the 1960s. Thankfully, many CU Byway X columns were replaced with aluminium and steel columns before the current column replacement works began (circa. 1970s to 2000s), and these were fitted with mercury-running Phosco P111s in keeping with the rest of the town's lighting at the time. These columns do not need replacing and the town is therefore likely to retain some mercury lighting when the current columns replacements are completed.


Last edited by David on Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:45 pm 
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Thanks for the update David. What's the latest on LED retrofits to existing SOX lanterns? I really hope -- for the sake of the street scenes at least - that this takes off.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:59 pm 
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Alex wrote:
What's the latest on LED retrofits to existing SOX lanterns? I really hope -- for the sake of the street scenes at least - that this takes off.
Hi Alex,

The LED retrofits into existing SOX lanterns was a Little Clacton Parish Council initiative and undertaken by its own appointed street lighting contractor. It may not become a widely adopted policy, even though it clearly has some merit, especially considering the rising cost of SOX lamps and the falling cost of LED retrofits. When both products achieve price parity, that may be enough encouragement for other councils to consider ceasing the purchase of SOX lamps – which need replacing circa. every 18,000 hours, and purchasing LED retrofits instead which, in the case of the Magnatech LED retrofits, should last 35,000 hours.

Magnatech currently have these LED retrofit bulbs for sale:
16W "SL07" LED retrofit bulb to replace a 35W SOX lamp;
18W "SL08" LED retrofit bulb to replace a 55W SOX lamp;
24W "SL08" LED retrofit bulb, also designed to replace a 55W SOX lamp (referred to in their literature, but no direct link for purchase);
28W "SL09" LED retrofit bulb to replace a 90W SOX lamp.

Luton Borough Council have adopted an LED retrofit scheme in Luton, which bypasses the existing SOX gear and removes the existing lampholder in favour of a retrofit LED cassette and gear tray. Weeley Parish Council simply bypass the control gear and fit compact fluorescent bulbs into their SOX lanterns to bring the village back to white light (as also detailed in the above link).

Back in Clacton-on-Sea, a sunny day yesterday (29th December 2016) afforded me the opportunity to walk around the town to see what lighting will be surviving against the odds into 2017:

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Starting on Clacton sea front, three ultra-rare top-entry GEC Z8430CMs still survive to this day. There were originally about 1.5 miles' worth of these top-entry GEC Z8430CMs on Johnson & Phillips lamp standards along the greensward, but the vast majority of them were removed from service in 2014.

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In the town centre itself, there is still a “doughnut ring” of standard GEC Z8430CMs on Concrete Utilities “Avenue 3DNN” columns encircling the town centre's busiest shopping streets, e.g. in Jackson Road above.

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They survived a town centre relighting scheme which was completed 10 years ago.

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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. The following correction was made in October 2017: Only one Atlas Alpha One on an unsleeved Avenue 3DNN column still survives in the town - in Jaywick Lane. It is one of only two Alpha Ones still in the town, the other being a Thorn Alpha One on a 1970s Fabrikat casual replacement column.

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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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Another view of the same cluster. Sadly the first lantern of the group of five has a broken bowl, so it may be replaced soon.

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The High Street car park still has this unsleeved 35ft Concrete Utilities installation.

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It comprises a "stretched" Avenue 3DNN column of circa. 8m in length with a concrete bracket which brings the total height of the installation to 35ft.

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Clacton-on-Sea and the towns surrounding it (Jaywick, Great Clacton and Holland-on-Sea) still have well in excess of 100 Concrete Utilities "Utility Major" columns, many of which could be around 60 years old. Although a few disappear from time to time, there doesn't appear to be a co-ordinated effort to remove them (as there is to remove the "Byway X" columns in nearby Frinton-on-Sea). This Utility Major in Granville Road has been given a new lease of life with the addition of an INDO Air 1 or Air 1+ LED lantern.

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The most unusual CU Utility Major column in Clacton-on-Sea lights a footpath between Wellesley Road and Crossfield Road.

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A close-up of the ultra-rare Utility Major concrete bracket.

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Scores of the town's Utility Major columns still hold their original mercury-running GEC Z5641 lanterns installed in the 1950s and early 1960s.

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Considering some of these lanterns must be around 60 years old (my rescued GEC Z5641 from Holland-on-Sea was dated 1959), they are in incredibly good condition for their age.

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Some streets, e.g. Bembridge Close, still have an almost unspoilt original installation. This photograph and the two photographs above it were taken in Bembridge Close, Clacton-on-Sea.

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Another view of Bembridge Close, Clacton-on-Sea.

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When GEC launched their Z5671 mercury lantern in the mid-1960s, these started to appear in the town, originally on the same Utility Major columns and latterly on the GEC ZP3000 reinforced coloured plastic columns. All these "plastopoles" were replaced in the second half of the 1980s after they began to shed fibres (my particular memory of them as a kid was they would make you itch!). Only three survive in Clacton-on-Sea in 2016, all of them in private hands.

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Jubilee Avenue, another road in Clacton-on-Sea, still has an almost unspoilt original installation of Utility Major columns with mercury-running GEC Z5641 lanterns. My avatar is a photograph of Jubilee Avenue taken in March 2005 when the street had nine GEC Z5641s in a row.

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One of Jubilee Avenue's original GEC Z5641s. This one is a slightly different design to the other Z5641s in Jubilee Avenue and in Bembridge Close.

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Here is one of the earliest attempts to extend the life of the Utility Major columns. The original mercury-running GEC Z5671s in Marlowe Road, Jaywick were swapped out in the early 1980s for bespoke brackets and metal-clipped Thorn Beta 5s.

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Over 30 years later, the installation is doing just fine!

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Elsewhere in Clacton-on-Sea and the surrounding towns, SOX still reigns supreme, with assorted manufacturers and lanterns from the 1970s to the 2000s installed side by side. The Avenue in Clacton-on-Sea is pictured above.

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Of course we all know what's coming next! A close-up photograph of one of the INDO Air 1 or Air 1+ LED lantern that has appeared in place of some 35W SOX lanterns in the last six weeks reveals that the wattage of the new LED lanterns is 25W.

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The INDO Air 1 or Air 1+ LED lantern has also started to appear in side-entry form on heavily-trafficked routes in the town. The example above has appeared along the B1369 Old Road in Clacton-on-Sea. It replaced a 55W SOX Eleco GR501.

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Two INDO Air 1 or Air 1+ side-entry LED lanterns have appeared on the B1027 St. John's Road in Great Clacton, which is another heavily-trafficked route. They replaced 55W SOX Philips MI36s / XGS 104s.

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A close-up of the underside of one of the INDO Air 1 or Air 1+ side-entry LED lanterns that have appeared on the more heavily-trafficked routes shows that 30W lanterns have been chosen for the busier roads.

So in summary, Clacton-on-Sea and its surrounding towns still have plenty of history and nostalgia to offer the street lighting enthusiast as we begin 2017, but we can also see that LED street lighting has just made its debut in the town, literally in the last six weeks or so.

Take-up of LED may be slow to begin with, but if Essex is to follow the rest of the country, this could change. It is understandable that uptake of LED in Essex may be slow as it is the third-largest street lighting authority in the UK with 127,000 units. The cost of converting such a large number of street lights to LED in one go would be astronomical.

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  :)


Last edited by David on Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:47 pm 
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David wrote:

Meanwhile, a walk around Little Clacton (a village just outside Clacton in North East Essex) back in May this year puzzled me, as the lamps in practically every Parish Council controlled street light in some roads appeared to have unusually blackened ends:

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An example Thorn Beta 5 in Little Clacton, photographed in May 2016. The lamp in this lantern, and the lamps in all the other lanterns in Holland Road, appeared to have unusually blackened ends.

.


While doing a search for SOX lamps on the internet I came across another SOX LED retrofit, of a different make to the ones David has shown, and interestingly features a plastic cover over the LEDs so it is the same diameter of a SOX lamp, the whole way round the lamp, so the lamp support will still do its job.

here it is: https://www.inui.co.uk/led-sox-lamp.html

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:58 pm 
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Hi Beta 5,

That will hopefully be better than the ones we are using in Cumbria as they don't seem to last very long. This is due to water getting into the lantern and making it's way onto the lamp which appears to short out the exposed contacts of the LEDs. So much for LEDs lasting for ever ;)

Regards,

Andrew.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:39 am 
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meppso wrote:
Hi Beta 5,

That will hopefully be better than the ones we are using in Cumbria as they don't seem to last very long. This is due to water getting into the lantern and making it's way onto the lamp which appears to short out the exposed contacts of the LEDs. So much for LEDs lasting for ever ;)

Regards,

Andrew.


Hi Andrew,

Yes the design is better of that one, and the LEDs have no chance of shorting out on the lamp support, they also come in warm white (3000K) as well as Cool white (4500K) I normally consider cool white as 4000K, but also daylight (6500K) but that would be a bit too bluish. The best colours would be 3000K and 4000K.

These lamps would be no good for post tops that run the lamp vertically as they only emit light from one side.

It would be interesting to see an orange coloured LED SOX.

Yes its a load of rubbish that people say LEDs last forever - They don't.

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Last edited by Beta 5 on Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:05 pm 
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Beta 5 wrote:
meppso wrote:

These lamps would be no good for post tops that run the lamp vertically as they only emit light from one side.
.


A valid point, however another issue with running LEDs vertically is that the heatsink on the back of the assembly would probably not keep them cool enough to achieve a long life. I suspect these heatsinks are designed for horizontal orientation. If the fins were designed to dissipate heat in a vertical position, they could in theory be used in wall fittings like the (vintage?) Thorn Piazza and even post tops, providing the column was sited at the back of the pavement. The fact that light is directed from one side only would probably cheer the borough lighting engineer.

Streetlighting nowadays seems to be returning to its original objective -  lighting the public thoroughfare, not private, residential properties.

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"As we moved along in a little procession, I was delighted with the illumination of the streets. So many lamps and they burned until morning, my father said, and so people did not need to carry lanterns."
Mary Antin - US author & activist. 1881-1949.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:25 pm 
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In the New SOX Installations (and most recent) thread, David wrote:
First to the Highways Agency, and this damaged Philips SRS201 on the A120 trunk road at Bradwell is currently being replaced with a new Philips SRS201:

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A new SRS201 lantern on the A120 at Bradwell. Photograph taken three days ago (May 2014).

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The A120 between Braintree and Colchester is SOX-lit, so it's understandable why the Highways Agency would prefer to replace a damaged SOX lantern with another SOX lantern. The damaged SOX lantern appears partially obscured on the right hand side of the road in this photograph from October 2013.

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Another view of the replacement lantern from May 2014.

This post in the East Anglian Discussion thread documents a more comprehensive SOX relighting scheme from the Highways Agency from 2012.

As Nelly Furtado noted in her song back in 2006, all good things come to an end. This Improvements and Major Road Projects page on the Highways England East web site suggests that the SOX lighting on the A120 between [the Marks Farm roundabout in] Braintree and Marks Tey in Essex is about to be replaced. The £6 million project being undertaken by Amey will see the roads and pavements resurfaced and the street lighting, fencing and signage replaced. This is arguably a sticking plaster for a woefully under-capacity single carriageway road that is due to be replaced with a dual carriageway between 2020 and 2025.

Travelling eastwards from Braintree to Marks Tey, the first village that the A120 passes through is Bradwell. The short section of dual carriageway (as photographed back in 2013 and 2014 in the above post) is followed by a long stretch of single carriageway lit with 135W Philips MA50s / SRS201s installed about 20 years ago:

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The A120 passes through Bradwell village, as photographed in May 2014. Before the road was relit, the village was lit with pole-mounted Thorn Beta 5s on every telegraph pole on the other side of the road.

The next village along the A120 is Coggeshall, which was bypassed in 1983. Each of the three junctions (to the western end of the village, to the north and to the eastern end) are generously lit with remote-geared Philips MA50s with the small streamline shoe:

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Lighting up time on the A120's generously-lit junction with the B1024 to the north of Coggeshall. Photograph taken in September 2013. Casual replacements have up to this time been strictly SOX.

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A photograph from December 2015 showing how well-maintained the 34 year old lighting on the Coggeshall bypass has been over the years, with all lanterns in light.

The last village that the A120 passes through before reaching the A12 (where you can find this SOX installation with Thorn Alpha Sixes) is Marks Tey:

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The A120 at Marks Tey, photographed in December 2015.

The lighting on the A120 in Marks Tey appears to have been installed in two tranches. Travelling back towards Braintree from the A12 junction, the first and oldest tranche of lighting are Eleco GR150s on the old-style Petit Jean columns with the flat door on the protruding door frame (above). This installation likely dates back to the early 1970s.

Upon passing the vicinity of Godmans Lane, GEC Z9554s on octagonal columns with the later flush door complete the lighting up to the village boundary. This extension of the A120's lighting may date back to the late 1970s or the early 1980s.

One thing to note is that, as all the lighting on the A120 in Bradwell, on the Coggeshall Bypass and in Marks Tey is SOX, all casual replacements up to now (or at least until 2016) have also been SOX, with light levels boosted by SON at two mini-roundabouts in Marks Tey and a pedestrian crossing in Bradwell.

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This brand new SRS201 appeared in Marks Tey in December 2015 (photograph: December 2015).

Here in Essex, we have been blessed in recent years to have retained so much SOX, with neither Essex County Council or Highways England showing any urgency or appetite for wholesale replacement of their existing SOX lighting stock. Perhaps the recent price rises for SOX lamps, especially the large wattage ones, is causing a rethink, and the A120 between Braintree and Marks Tey will be a casualty, along with the small proportion of Essex County Council's lighting that stays on all night.

I suppose all good things come to an end, even in Essex!


Last edited by David on Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:57 am 
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David wrote:
Here in Essex, we have been blessed in recent years to have retained so much SOX, with neither Essex County Council or Highways England showing any urgency or appetite for wholesale replacement of their existing SOX lighting stock. Perhaps the recent price rises for SOX lamps, especially the large wattage ones, is causing a rethink, and the A120 between Braintree and Marks Tey will be a casualty, along with the small proportion of Essex County Council's lighting that stays on all night.

I suppose all good things come to an end, even in Essex!


How much do councils actually pay per lamp for 35W SOX lamps?
When bought from electrical wholesalers they are generally priced at £30+ each!

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Last edited by Beta 5 on Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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