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Street lighting faults and repairs


This page refers to street lighting faults only, for faults concerning illuminated street furniture (e.g. bollards and signs) please refer to illuminated signs and bollards faults and repairs.

On a regular basis our contractor undertakes night time scouting to inspect all of the streetlights in the county to identify streetlights that are not working. On a quarterly basis our contractor also undertakes daytime scouting to identify day burning (lights on in the day) street lights and to identify damage that is not visible during the night time inspections.

There are a number of reasons why a streetlight may not be working. In most cases the fault can be repaired easily by replacing components. Sometimes the fault is more serious and the whole column will need to be replaced.

Please be aware that not all the street lights in Surrey are maintained by the County Council, some may be owned and maintained by the housing authorities or by district and borough councils. These street lights tend to be lights in car parks, amenity or recreational areas. You will know if we maintain the lights, as they will appear on the street lighting on-line fault reporting system.


How do I report a fault?

Report a street light fault

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What do the abbreviations on the street lighting on-line fault reporting system mean?

  • C - Column
  • N – New PFI Column
  • B - Bollard
  • S - Sign
  • OPP - Opposite
  • ADJ - Adjacent to
  • NR - Near
  • JCN - Junction
  • OS - Outside
  • NIL - No exact location known
  • S/L - Southbound Lane
  • N/L - Northbound Lane
  • RA - Roundabout
  • Plain faced bollard - Bollard with no directional arrows
  • DS - Directional sign
  • BF - Before
  • T/Lights - Traffic lights
  • 7.5T - 7.5 tonne weight restriction

If you are having difficulty using the street lighting on-line fault reporting system please contact us to report the fault.

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What information will I need to provide?

Please have the following information to hand when reporting a fault.

  • Name of District or Borough
  • Road Name
  • Number on column (This is normally on the lamp post approximately 2 Meters from the ground facing the road. Regretfully the street light may not always have a number, especially on old equipment.)
  • Detail of type of fault with the column
  • Details of any building or landmarks close to the column (House names or number, post boxes, bus stops etc)
  • Please also leave your name and telephone number and email address so that we can contact you to clarify the location if we cannot find it.

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How long does it take to repair faults?

For non high-speed roads all jobs will be raised as a 6 working day fault. The streetlight will then be inspected and a further job may be raised depending on the type of work required to be undertaken.

For example if a column needs replacing initially it will be given a six working day target for a site visit. On the day the site is visited and it is established that a new column is required a new job will be raised with a target of 10 working days. Once the replacement street light has been installed, there will then be a 30 working day job raised for the energy company to transfer the new power supply. Therefore it can take up to 46 working days to replace a defective street lighting column on a non high-speed road and up to 60 on a high-speed road.

Type of repair Duration

Repair defective lighting apparatus
(non high-speed road)

6 working days (lantern replacement, change a lamp/bulb, replace a bowl, repair a light that is on all day)

Repair defective lighting apparatus
(high-speed road)

15 working days (lantern replacement, change a lamp/bulb, replace a bowl, repair a light that is on all day)
Install a replacement column
(non high-speed road)
10 working days
Install a replacement column
(high-speed road)
15 working days
Install/connect a new power supply to a column 30 working days
Repair to underground electrical cables feeding street lights 30 working days*

*The local Distribution Network Operator owns these cables. When there is a fault with these cables the contractor Skanska will report the fault to the energy provider so that they can arrange for a repair to be undertaken. We target our contractor to try and obtain a resolution with the Distribution Network Operator in these circumstances, however it is unfortunately out of our control as to how long this may take. Please see DNO (Distribution Network Operator) Faults/Energy supplier faults for more information. This can also be know as a 5th core fault. Please see 5th core faults

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How do I track the progress of a reported fault?

You can track the progress of a reported fault by visiting the street lighting on-line fault reporting system
Firstly you will need to select the 'Track a fault' option. There are then two options. Track the fault using the reference or track the fault by road name.

If you are tracking the fault using the reference, enter the reference you were given after reporting the fault initially and you will be taken directly to a screen that will show you the progress of the fault and the repair target date. If the repair date has passed but there is still a fault with the streetlight then a new job may have been raised. To find out if this is the case you will need to track the fault by road name.

If you are tracking the fault by road name then you will need to enter the road name and select the streetlight with the fault. You will be taken to a screen that will show you the progress of the fault and the repair target date. If the repair date has passed but there is still a fault with the streetlight then the fault has reoccurred and will unfortunately need to report the fault again.

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DNO - Distribution Network Operator faults/Energy supplier faults

Electricity cables owned and maintained by the Distribution Network Operator supply the streetlights with electricity. The DNO cables supply electricity to your home as well as to street lights. In Surrey there are two DNO suppliers. These are:

When a fault with the DNO equipment/cabling is affecting a streetlight this is known as a dead service. When a dead service is identified our contractor will report the fault directly to the DNO requesting they undertake the works required to repair the cable feeding the streetlight. This may also be known as a 5th core faults

These types of faults will show as an energy supplier fault on the street lighting on-line fault reporting system.

Our Contractor is targeted to liaise with the DNO to resolve this type of fault within 30 working days of the fault being identified. However this may not always be possible as it is not within Surrey County Council or Skanska's control as to when this work is undertaken. Works to resolve faults to the energy supply to homes and businesses will inevitably take priority. The DNO's are monitored OFGEM by regarding delivery of this service.

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5th core faults

A 5th Core supply is a special type of DNO cable network for controlling streetlights in groups. This is an old method of supply that we have replaced under the street lighting replacement programme. The lighting circuit is controlled locally by a clock or light-sensitive cell that switches the lights on and off as required, but this type of control is unreliable and prone to failure. Many of the switching points are within DNO sub-stations but we are not permitted access to these. These are treated as DNO faults as the distribution network operator/energy supplier needs to assist the contractor with these faults.

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Multiple fault reports

If there is more than one fault in a road you can log multiple faults by using the report without using the map feature on the fault reporting page, selecting the relevant road and then selecting the necessary assets before continuing.

Sometimes a problem with DNO underground cabling or a 5th Core fault can cause all the lights to go out in a road. If we are aware of whole road that is affected by a fault you can see a record of this on the front page of the street lighting on-line fault reporting system.

If all the lights are out in the road and you cannot see the road on the front page of the street lighting on-line fault reporting system then you can log the fault under just one streetlight in the road by selecting just one of the lights in the road and then select 'all lights in road out' under the fault type.

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