The responsibility for street lighting falls with the authority who is responsible for the road that the street lighting is placed in. In Cumbria this means that the street light may fall under the responsibility of the highways agency or Cumbria highways.
Cumbria Highways believe that lighting of both the road and footway contributes to improving safety, reducing crime, helping business, improving the urban night-time environment and encouraging walking and cycling after dark. Equally we recognise the problems caused by light pollution and we have policies and standards which take into account location and environmental factors.
Cumbria County Council are responsible for the majority of Cumbria’s roads. They manage and maintain some 50,000 road lighting units, illuminated signs and bollards.
Using road lighting columns
You may not use road lighting columns as supports for advertising signs of any kind except where recognised organisations (ie. Automobile Association or RAC) have been granted permission for the erection of short-term temporary direction or information signs.
You may not use road lighting columns as a support or source of electrical supply for decorations without the consent of the appropriate authority.
You cannot erect banners, flags or catenary wires between two or more road lighting columns. Flower baskets can be erected but they must be the "clamp on" type and only where the road lighting column has been specifically designed to carry the additional weight and wind loads of the basket.
Responsibility for provision and maintenance of street furniture is shared between Cumbria County Council, district councils and parish councils. Cumbria County Council is responsible for
- most illuminated and non-illuminated signs and bollards
- traffic signals and variable message signs
- highway fencing
- guard railings and walls (but not privately owned)
- salt bins
- traffic counter boxes
District, town and parish councils also have powers to place certain items on the highway. Items which could cause an obstruction or a hazard, whether permanent or temporary, also require consent by obtaining a licence from the county council. These items include
- litter and dog bins
- roadside seats
- street name signs
- planters and baskets
- notice boards
- some bus shelters (not Adshel)
Statutory undertakers (water, gas, electricity and telephone companies) are also permitted to place equipment on the highway
- telephone/electricity poles and cabinets
- mobile phone masts
- fire hydrants
- stop valve markers
Temporary traffic signals and traffic management around road works sites are the responsibility of the contractor carrying out the work. Every site should display a board with the contractors details and 24 hours contact number.
The provision of new or replacement street furniture represents an opportunity for local authorities to define and enhance the historic character of a conservation area. Inappropriate street furniture and a proliferation of signs and general clutter detract from the character of a conservation area.