It is currently Thu Dec 09, 2021 4:16 am

All times are UTC






Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 332 posts ] 


Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:08 am 
Offline
Random avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:50 am
Posts: 40
Location: Western East England
Yet again, more fantastic posts David. Now as ECC is starting Phase 4 (the last part of their LED upgrade scheme), and Essex will be pretty much LED by 2024, I'm thinking where in the UK will SOX still be a stronghold in, I think Stockport still is SOX but not for long.

_________________
No LED is better than other light sources (apart from probably lanterns such as Philips LumiStreets)!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 2:42 pm 
Offline
Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:46 pm
Posts: 529
Images: 11
Location: Colchester, Essex
Thank you SpeedStar! We are lucky that we have about three years left to enjoy SOX in Essex. I would be surprised if there will be any SOX strongholds left in the UK three years from now, which is when phase 4 of Essex County Council's street light LED replacement programme is expected to conclude. There may be a council somewhere in the land with not two pennies to rub together and unlikely to embark on an LED replacement programme anytime soon. Here in Essex, only the borough, district and parish councils' own MBF/U, SOX and SON street lighting, and Highways England's own SOX and SON street lighting could still be extant by then, but even that is looking unlikely. Here's an example of some of Highways England's SOX lighting at junction 25 of the A12 that still exists to this day:
In February 2019, David wrote:
Image
The Prince of Wales roundabout in Mark’s Tey on the outskirts of Colchester is a step back to the 1970s. To this day, it is exclusively lit with 135W SOX lanterns - Eleco GR150s, Philips MA50s, a Thorn Alpha Four and a Thorn Alpha Six.

The Alpha Six is on the single column on the traffic island in the foreground of this photograph taken on Friday night (15th February 2019).

Image
Another photograph of the exclusively SOX-lit Prince of Wales roundabout in Mark’s Tey taken on Friday night. The 1980s / 1990s trend of boosting lighting levels at important junctions by fitting SON lanterns never happened here!

Image
Adjoining the Prince of Wales roundabout is a short stretch of dual carriageway which carries the A120 over the A12. This photograph was also taken on Friday night.

With the exception of a traffic light-controlled pedestrian crossing, this dual carriageway is also lit with 135W SOX lanterns. Many of the lanterns were renewed with new SOX lanterns in January 2012, although the sleeved concrete columns mounted on the bridge parapets were not tackled.

The A12 Stanway Bypass to the west of Colchester was opened in 1971. Junction 25 of the A12 - the terminus of the bypass - was remodelled to accommodate the new bypass, meaning these concrete columns have now reached their 50th birthday. The last significantly large and unspoilt SOX installation in the Colchester area could be reaching the end of its life quite soon.

Essex County Council has now published the order in which Phase 4 of their street light replacement by LEDs programme will be executed on their website. It's split into six stages and is estimated to take three years to complete. My area of Essex (covered by Colchester Borough Council and Tendring District Council) is in stage two. Splitting the table into its simplest form of six months per stage would suggest work could start in my area in the winter of this year and end in late-spring 2022. But the actual replacement schedule could be rather different. For example, the Colchester Borough Council area has a population three times greater than Maldon District Council's area, so we would ordinarily expect the replacement programme to take around three times longer to complete in Colchester than in Maldon.

Stage one, comprising of Basildon and Chelmsford's council areas - have a combined population of around 366,000 people between them, which represents just under a quarter of the Essex County Council area. That would suggest it could take around 9 months to complete these two council areas, taking the works into January 2022.

Stage two, comprising of Colchester and Tendring's council areas, have a combined population of around 341,000 people between them, which represents about 23% of the Essex County Council area. That would suggest it could take about eight months to complete these two council areas, from perhaps February 2022 to perhaps September 2022.

This, of course, assumes that all the council areas have a similar density of residential street lighting and that the proportion of lanterns left to convert to LED against the total quantity of lanterns is also similar in each council area, which is unlikely to be the case of course, but population by council area could provide a rough guide to the upcoming works.

By my back-of-a-cigarette-packet calculations, stage one (25% of the Essex County Council area by population) could last around nine months, stage two (23%) around eight months, stage three (19%) around seven months and stages four, five and six (12%, 11% and 10% respectively) around four months each.

Although the above dates for individual areas are my own speculation, one thing is for sure - in three years from now / by mid-2024, there will be very little MBF, SOX or SON street lighting left in the county.

Small-wattage SOX lanterns still dominate residential streets in Essex. It was the lighting of choice for Essex County Council since the time that residential street lighting came under its control in 1974 all the way up to the mid-2000s, and many borough and district councils were installing SOX before the 1970s energy crisis. Accordingly, there is a legacy of almost 50 years of SOX lighting in some areas (else 20 years of MBF/U and 30 years of SOX, like in Clacton-on-Sea) followed by 15 years of SON to be replaced with LED.

The only exception that I know of to the wholesale adoption of SOX street lighting across Essex in 1974 was "upmarket" Frinton-on-Sea, where Essex County Council chose to continue installing MBF/U lighting until the MBF/U option was removed from the Phosco P111 lantern, upon when the council switched to SON.

In March 2016, David wrote:
Frinton-on-Sea has always sat a little uneasily among its near-neighbours of Jaywick, Clacton-on-Sea, Holland-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze. With its wide tree-lined avenues and large detached houses, it was purposely-built to attract the upper-middle classes - to Essex no less - and many covenants were created to protect the town's way of life accordingly. The absence of fast food joints, cafes and kiosks along the seafront keeps the town litter-free. Buses were banned from passing over the level crossing gates until the 1980s, fish and chips didn't arrive in the town until 1992 (after a bitter planning battle), and the town didn't get its first pub until 2000 (after another bitter planning battle).

Even today the town still has a 1950s feel to it, and that trend has been reflected in its street lighting. When Essex County Council moved away from MBF/U in the 1970s and SOX casual replacements started appearing in mercury-lit streets for the first time, the most upmarket area of Frinton - the area inside the sorely-missed level crossing gates - escaped such an indignity, and the Council were still installing new MBF/U Phosco P111s in the town (to match the town's existing street lighting) up until Phosco removed the MBF/U option from the P111 a few years ago.

Image
A mile of mercury. Here is The Esplanade, the road that runs along Frinton sea front, photographed in December 1997. Despite Essex County Council moving away from MBF/U in the 1970s, there are no non-MBF/U casual replacements to be seen here.

Image
The same scene photographed eighteen years later in September 2015. The advancing years of the original Concrete Utilities "Edinburgh" columns has coincided with the removal of the MBF/U option from the Phosco P111, with inevitable consequences.

Last month, an opportunity arose to re-visit Frinton-on-Sea in the nighttime to see how north east Essex's only mercury-lit town was doing six years after the photographs in my March 2016 post were taken. LED casual replacements didn't start appearing in my corner of Essex until late-2016, so Frinton at this time was lit with historic and modern MBF/U Phosco P111s and latterly the SON Phosco P111s after Phosco removed the lantern's MBF/U option. The town has now embraced white light again, with depletion of MBF/U and SON Phosco P111s in favour of LED Phosco P111s now very evident.

Image
The same view as the 1997 and 2015 photographs before, re-photographed in June 2021.

Back in 2015, around 20 of the 55 lanterns along the whole of The Esplanade (the 1 1/4-mile long road that runs along Frinton sea front) were SON casual replacements, representing around 36% of the total. The rest (circa. 64%) were MBF/U. Now there are just four SON Phosco P111 lanterns left along the whole of the sea front, representing circa. 7% of the total, and just seven MBF/U P111s (circa. 13%) now remain. All the other lanterns - about 80% of the total - are now LED Phosco P111s.

By Essex standards, this is a remarkably quick turnover of lanterns in the space of six years and is a fast-paced representation of what is happening on many side roads in the county when lamps expire - instead of the lantern being re-lamped, the lantern is swapped over to an LED lantern.

Here are some more "then and now" photographs from Frinton sea front, photographed in 2015, 2016 and 2021:

In March 2016, David wrote:
Image
September 2015 - The Esplanade between Frinton Golf Club (at the southern end of the town) and Connaught Avenue (the main shopping street) showing new SON P111s interspersed with older MBF/U P111s.

Image
Approximately the same view as seen in the September 2015 photograph above, re-photographed in June 2021. The Esplanade between Frinton Golf Club and Connaught Avenue is now all-LED with the exception of one mercury lantern near the Golf Club.

In March 2016, David wrote:
Image

This was the first of two views of The Esplanade between the Crescent Gardens and Connaught Avenue taken in March 2016.

Image
The same view in June 2021.

In March 2016, David wrote:
Image
March 2016 - two views of The Esplanade between the Crescent Gardens and Connaught Avenue. Frinton would never entertain the idea of multicoloured seafront illuminations, but the current mix of MBF/U and SON lighting is a good try!

Image
The same view in June 2021. Just one SON lantern and three MBF/U lanterns remain along this stretch of the sea front. The third MBF/U lantern was on the right next to the camera.

In March 2016, David wrote:
Image
March 2016 - The Esplanade between the Crescent Gardens and the other end of the town. Once the far corner is turned, you are in Walton-on-the-Naze.!

Image
The same view in June 2021. Just three SON lanterns and three MBF/U lanterns remain along this stretch of the sea front.

If you step away from the sea front, the pace of change is a little slower.

Image
Second Avenue is a typical road within Frinton-on-Sea's conservation area. Photograph taken in June 2021.

A few years ago it was a mix of MBF/U P111s on Concrete Utilities "Byway X" columns and SON casual replacements on new aluminium or steel poles. Fast forward to today and many of the last remaining "Byway X" columns have now been replaced with new aluminium or steel poles, killing off many MBF/U lanterns in the process. But instead of SON casual replacements, the LED P111 is now the lantern of choice.

Believe it or not, but there is still one MBF/U P111 lantern in the above view of Second Avenue awaiting replacement. It is difficult to see as the SON and LED P111s are cut-off fittings with better optics whereas the MBF-U version of the lantern throws light in all directions with only the refractor offering some level of optical control. So although the 24W LED array and the 80W MBF/U lamp may give off a similar quantity of light (perhaps around 3,800 lumens each), the LED lantern is far more effective at delivering it to the road.

Image
Second Avenue and The Esplanade (sea front road), as photographed from the entrance of Frinton Golf Club. Photograph taken in June 2021.

This wideangle view of a side road and the sea front road show the different speeds of ongoing lighting replacement in Frinton-on-Sea, with the sea front road very much out in front with very little discharge lighting left to replace.

Image
A view of the Esplanade from the northern end of the town, taken in June 2021.

Image
As the clock strikes 1am (midnight on Sundays), virtually all residential street lighting in Essex switches off under the current part-night lighting regime. Photograph taken in June 2021.

Image
One final photograph of Frinton greensward, taken from the same location as the 1997, 2016 and 2021 photographs above, with all the residential street lighting in the town switched off. Photograph taken in June 2021.

The town's main shopping street - Connaught Avenue - is the only street that remains in light throughout the night.

So in quick conclusion, Essex's residential streets will all look very different at night in as little as three years from now, expect perhaps the older part of Frinton-on-Sea which tried very hard not to move away from white light in the first place.


Top
 Profile  
 

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  


Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 332 posts ] 

All times are UTC



You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests



Search for: