No plans at present to restore 'purely cosmetic' illuminations
The illuminations underneath Putney Bridge will not be restored when it reopens later this year. Wandsworth Council say the cost of repairing the existing lights is too expensive to justify which are 'purely cosmetic and not essential'..
Picture: Justin Ward
In an email to local resident Victor Condon, Steve Kempster, the Assistant Head of Operational Services confirmed that the current floodlights would not be reinstated for the foreseeable future.
Mr Kempster's email said, "To repair the lights has a disproportionately high cost due to the particular circumstances on where the floodlights are fitted to Putney Bridge, as opposed to some other Thames crossing bridges. This makes access to them a difficult and expensive task. Unfortunately the new lamps that were fitted after the last maintenance cycle did not last very long and combined with the theft of some floodlights the overall appearance of the bridge at night was not good and therefore they have been switched off."
He continued that the council is looking onto a more efficient means of lighting the structure, but there was no indication of any time line saying, "Rather than waste money in trying to repair what is an aged and unreliable lighting system, the Council is seeking a modern LED system that would provide a low maintenance regime having a long lamp life and low energy costs. This lighting scheme will be considered for funding amongst all other Council proposals and prioritised accordingly. Therefore the plan to renew the floodlights on Putney Bridge is not scheduled to be carried out in the immediate future."
Vic told PutneySW15.com: "I think there is a chance if the local councillors and the Council leader get enough pressure from us (residents) for the new LED lights, they might relent and prioritise them in the scheme of things, as looking at that picture (above) it's unforgivable to keep this listed structure in the Dark.
It was the 'Highlight of the Putney Riverside' when they worked!"
Mr Kempster did "agree the floodlights do enhance the bridge at night", but he said that they were "purely cosmetic and not essential".
Wandsworth Council have not responded to our request for comment on this matter.
August 29, 2014