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Street lights


Street lights

Good highway lighting helps to reduce road accidents. It can also help reduce crime and the fear of crime. We aim to provide cost effective, efficient and safe highway lighting and illuminated traffic signs across the county.

In West Sussex, there are:

  • over 65,000 street lights;
  • over 10,000 illuminated signs and bollards.


Report a faulty street light, illuminated bollard or sign

Here at West Sussex County Council, we do our best to uphold the safety and quality of our streets. If you discover a fault with any street lighting, illuminated signs or bollards, please let our service provider know and we will get them fixed.

You can report a fault online or by phoning SSE Contracting on 0800 048 2435.

When you report a fault, it helps if you can provide:

  • the identification number on the post (if available);
  • whether a street light, sign or bollard;
  • the number of the nearest house or other form of landmark.

Lighting on the major trunk roads in West Sussex (A27, M23 and A23) is not the responsibility of the West Sussex County Council and any faults on these roads should directed to the Highways Agency.

Street lighting Private Finance Initiative (PFI) 

In April 2010 SSE Contracting commenced a 25 year Government backed maintenance contract with West Sussex County Council. SSE Contracting became the service provider for street lighting from this date and within the first 5 years will be replacing around 80% of our ageing streetlights, illuminated signs and bollards with new more energy efficient equipment. 

Standards of service

SSE Contracting aim to attend to lights, signs and bollards within 3 days of receiving a reported fault. Usually repairs are made at this time unless the problems rest with a utility company's cable or spare parts are needed.

  • All lights are checked at least once a month.
  • There is a regular programme of inspection and cleaning.
  • Each fault is given a unique reference number for monitoring purposes.


Frequently asked questions

What sort of lights do you use and why?
We use 3 main types of highway lighting:

1. High pressure sodium - this creates a warm glow and is especially suitable for town centres and conservation areas.
2. Low pressure sodium - 'orange streetlights' this type of lighting is now no longer installed.
3. Fluorescent tubes - these create a white light which makes colours easy to identify and are now being used more widely in residential road lighting.

Can we avoid lighting up the sky?

New street lighting is designed to consume the minimum amount of electricity to achieve the required lighting levels. In order to minimise light pollution, lighting from new columns is directed only on to the highway.

How is the electricity supplied and paid for?

The electricity for lights and signs is obtained from the local supply company at a competitive rate. Power failures are outside our control and are dealt with by the appropriate company.

What safety precautions do you take?
All work carried out by our service provider is in accordance with current health and safety regulations:

  • All contractors working on public lighting must be technically approved.
  • All contractors are supervised to ensure that their work complies with the County Council's safety policy. 

Who deals with festive lighting, such as Christmas decorations?

Usually, parish or town councils.


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