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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:10 am 
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Having just reported on what is happening in Clacton-on-Sea and the surrounding area, here are some of my recent observations from elsewhere in the county of Essex.

Question 5 on page one of this PDF published on this page on Essex County Council’s web site gives a proposed order of installation for the Phase 3 LED roll-out per local authority area, which was correct at the time of publication in March 2018: Maldon, Harlow, Brentwood, Epping Forest, Braintree, Tendring, Castle Point, Rochford, Basildon, Uttlesford, Chelmsford and lastly Colchester. We should note that A13James has previously reported that Castle Point local authority area was converted to LED in circa. December 2017 with Rochford and Basildon quickly following on, and all three of these local authority areas appear after Tendring on the list - Tendring being the home of Clacton-on-Sea and the nearby towns of Holland-on-Sea, Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze.

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Phase 3 of the LED roll-out has reached Witham (in the district of Braintree). Pictured above is a circa. half-mile stretch of Freebournes Road which is currently undergoing conversion to LED. This picture was taken on Friday night (15th February 2019).

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A number of these unusual ELECO GR101s (ostensibly the cutoff version of the GR100) will be scrapped. This photograph of two of the GR101s in Freebournes Road, Witham was taken in September 2011.

Two more pictures from Witham taken on Friday night (15th February 2019) follow below. While large-wattage SOX is currently getting the chop, small wattage SOX is safe until the time the lamp expires.

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The A12 bridge over the B1018 Maldon Road in Witham. The large-wattage SOX has been removed but the small-wattage SOX – in this example 55W Thorn Beta Twos – get a stay of execution.

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Maltings Lane in Witham, built in circa. 2005. The footpaths are a little too far from the main road for the light spill from the 8m street lighting to reach, and 35W SOX street lighting was installed on the footpaths. Despite the road being build in the mid-2000s, both the main road and the footpath street lighting were originally SOX.

The city of Chelmsford currently looks untouched by Phase 3 of the LED roll-out, although my journeys into this city are usually restricted to diverting away from slow traffic on my commute to work and visiting a few supermarkets that are within easy reach of the northern end of the A12 Chelmsford Bypass (the Boreham Interchange). Therefore I cannot conclude that Phase 3 of the LED roll-out is yet to reach the City. On the Phase 3 LED roll-out list, Chelmsford is after Tendring, Braintree, Castle Point, Rochford and Basildon local authority areas.

Last on the list is Colchester. It is very generous that ECC have left my home town to last  :lol: . Phase 1 (the LED trial in the town centre and the town centre approach roads) and Phase 2 (all full-night lighting units) are both complete, but I am almost certainly sure that Colchester has yet to see any Phase 3 works. The town is still seeing new LED casual replacements as and when old SOX and SON bulbs expire, but this is a slow process.

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Phase 3 of the LED roll-out is yet to reach Colchester, lanterns with expired bulbs are likely to be replaced with a new LED lantern when the street lighting crew visit the column. Pictured above is Highwoods Approach in Colchester last month (January 2019).

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Although lanterns with expired bulbs are likely to be replaced with a new LED lantern, many locations in Colchester still have well-maintained and unbroken installations of SOX street lighting, e.g. in Circular Road South pictured above on Tuesday evening (12th February 2018). Nothing is out of light in this photograph.

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Even the cycle lane and footpath alongside Circular Road South, pictured above also on Tuesday evening, has nothing out of light. Perhaps Essex County Council is still installing SOX lamps in some locations to keep everything in light until the LED roll-out arrives.

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Another view of Circular Road South, taken also on Tuesday evening from the opposite direction of the first photograph. Once again, nothing is out of light, although it should be noted that the high standards above are not necessarily kept elsewhere across Colchester.

Colchester still has a small population of Thorn Alpha Ones. As Clacton-on-Sea is about to lose its last Alpha One, I hope Colchester’s Alpha Ones remain in service until at least the LED roll-out arrives.

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Pictured above are two Alpha Ones in the Parsons Heath area of the town, photographed in January 2018.

I believe that the following lanterns are under the control of Highways England, as they are at the junction of the A12 and the A120 (both are Highways England roads). Had they been under the control of Essex County Council, they would have been replaced with LEDs under phase 2 of their LED roll-out.

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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).

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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!

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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 image below is from approximately the same location, and the Thorn Alpha Six on the first column on the left is still extant to this day.

In January 2012, David wrote:
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The same scene yesterday (22nd March 2012). I thought it would never happen, but the Highways Agency are replacing the sleeved concrete columns, which seem to have stood there for an eternity. Even the double bracket that was missing its Alpha Six for at least four years (it previously lit the A12 northbound on-slip) is now back in light.

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A quick look at the other end of the short section of dual carriageway reveals that the previous eclectic mix of Alpha Fours, Alpha Sixes, GEC Z9554s, GR150s and remote-geared MA50s on sleeved concrete columns have now been swept away and replaced with new Philips SRS201s on gleaming new Stainton columns. By coincidence, I think the old columns are Stanton & Staveleys (I'll assume Stainton isn't a mis-spelling of Stanton, and the two companies are seperate entities).

It looks like the Highways Agency have once again missed an opportunity to trial the latest new technology that the street lighting industry could offer Essex in 2012, e.g. High Pressure Sodium, as well as the chance to install some new, up-to-date lanterns like the Philips SGS203  :lol:  

But I am possibly being unfair, as the recently-installed pedestrian crossing point across the dual carriageway is lit by SON lanterns, in line with the possibly threatened Essex policy of sticking to SOX, and using SON to boost light levels only where light levels need to be boosted.

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The same scene depicted in the first two images, but photographed from the other side of the bridge over the A12 and showing the on-slip which was missing its Alpha Six for four years.
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Approximately the same scene as above, as photographed on Friday night (15th February 2019).

Knowing that Phase 3 of Essex County Council’s LED roll-out will eliminate all the ≥55W SOX lanterns in Essex within the next few months, perhaps we may be relying on Highways England to keep remaining large-wattage SOX alive in Essex!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:11 pm 
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Excellent and comprehensive posts on the state of lighting in Essex, once again David. Good to see some pictures of well maintained SOX in Colchester, even though its on borrowed time.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:16 pm 
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Very thorough and interesting update as always David, thanks.

Not a huge amount to update on in my area, perhaps only that the new lantern being installed in side road casual replacements is now the ASD Diamond Elite or whatever it’s called! I haven’t seen any Indo Air 1’s installed for a good few months.

I also have evidence that side road SOX is still being maintained, the Beta 5 outside my friend’s house had been out for a few weeks but in the last few days has been relamped, so all is not yet lost!

It’s a great shame to see Clacton’s last Alpha 1 bite the dust, but it’s certainly had a good life.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:43 pm 
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Question 5 on page one of this PDF published on this page on Essex County Council’s web site gives a proposed order of installation for the Phase 3 LED roll-out per local authority area, which was correct at the time of publication in March 2018: Maldon, Harlow, Brentwood, Epping Forest, Braintree, Tendring, Castle Point, Rochford, Basildon, Uttlesford, Chelmsford and lastly Colchester. We should note that A13James has previously reported that Castle Point local authority area was converted to LED in circa. December 2017 with Rochford and Basildon quickly following on, and all three of these local authority areas appear after Tendring on the list - Tendring being the home of Clacton-on-Sea and the nearby towns of Holland-on-Sea, Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze.


I've been doing a lot of work out in Essex recently and can reveal that although this order is correct, there are still quite a few SOX and SON lanterns which have been missed, even on roads which have undergone LED replacement! All of these lanterns are still standing in 2019:

Harlow:

I noticed three MA50s which had been missed:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.7539645,0.0927902,3a,17.4y,283.9h,119.7t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-5RuALeH3qz6anGMMm5X0g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 This one is being replaced by a Phosco P680, but both lanterns still live on!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.7558479,0.0907911,3a,17.9y,228.05h,114.31t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sTDU8HDMLMZvYha7M-i8Yjw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 This MA50 is lighting the entrance road to the Great Parndon Community Hall, so there was perhaps a bit of confusion over ownership on this one!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.7584312,0.0891165,3a,19.5y,336.59h,105.25t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sJ2t8-2t7LyeO3p9mJ0PqRA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 This one is still clinging on and is surrounded by LED lanterns (not seen in the Streetview)]

Epping Forest

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6064387,0.0832018,3a,15.8y,357.77h,103.74t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sjqPrRoN1Fy5wMjvmAqlrZw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192 GEC Z9544 on unsleeved CU concrete column on Fencepiece Road. This lantern is on the border of Epping Forest District Council and the London Borough of Redbridge, which may be what has saved it, although pretty much all SOX lighting has been wiped out in Redbridge, so it's rather odd that this has survived!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6085275,0.0825437,3a,43.5y,348.27h,99t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sS6FTcWEP4hg03txQb942IA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192 Another Z9544, this time on a steel Stainton column, randomly missed and still in light! All other columns around it have Philips Digistreets.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6092693,0.0823783,3a,45.1y,320.67h,109.61t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sHMOZ67FUixXLagO_qfvIQQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192An MA90 on an unsleeved CU column, again randomly missed! There are two Digistreets after this, again on unsleeved CU concretes, then:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6100198,0.0820153,3a,20.2y,340.62h,101.47t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sO08Lx_oYB3jo7iIYKcMtFg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192An SGS203 on a sleeved concrete and an Iridium on a Stainton column. What might have saved these lanterns from replacement is they are on top of a steep hill - maybe the work crew didn't fancy going up in the cherry picker! Although, if you spin around, they're missing out on a fantastic view across the Thames to Dartford/Erith!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.64131,0.0838852,3a,40.3y,172.71h,94.06t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sU6ZnFzji0JOj3At0svJksw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192 One double-bracket with MA50s and three Iridiums survive at the junction of Chigwell Lane with the M11. If you spin around, there are a couple of flat-glass SGS203s as well! These being on a motorway junction may have caused confusion between Epping Forest and Highways Agency ownership, although other junctions on the M11 are LED-lit!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6349876,0.0869024,3a,17.6y,249.56h,103.87t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sZE8BgnSeIxZD8hu7vU23bA!2e0!5s20170801T000000!6s%2F%2Fgeo0.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DZE8BgnSeIxZD8hu7vU23bA%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D209.49428%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192 An Arc, only installed in 2017 when the junction was realigned, survives at Rolls Park Corner on the edge of Debden.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6431244,0.0836031,3a,19.2y,65.62h,94.45t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sYKYTgjEuBPdtzxItXf3P1g!2e0!5s20170801T000000!7i16384!8i8192Epping Forest Shopping Park has retained all its Arcs, which, again, were only installed in 2017 and are original to the shopping park.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6467131,0.0812222,3a,16.4y,52.77h,98.82t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sReRXV5qFMD4D_wGvGo5GAg!2e0!5s20170801T000000!7i16384!8i8192 Double-bracket SGS203s have survived both road widening in 2017 and LED replacement in 2018! Debden Broadway still retains it fancy lighting too!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.647267,0.0804595,3a,18.8y,247.88h,114.34t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1slIiUKQFdSZw8fiZw7QV4rw!2e0!5s20170801T000000!7i16384!8i8192Another 2017 Arc missed, just diagonally across the junction from the SGS203s above!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6497511,0.0786588,3a,24.9y,125.13h,114.15t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sjaU0FfxTnOVRx4Q0ifgxkQ!2e0!5s20170801T000000!7i16384!8i8192 An MA90 on an unsleeved CU concrete column. The replacement column has been there for about 10 years and originally had an MA50 installed, but never connected up. The old column was still in light before the LED lantern came along as well!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6519603,0.0764725,3a,17.3y,332.36h,102.99t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sKUY1gwbmoSftfBROWLSW1A!2e0!5s20170801T000000!7i16384!8i8192A Phosco P567, which was a casual replacement for an MA50 a few years ago, still survives! Quite a few of these have been missed across the borough!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6560701,0.0668026,3a,15.5y,61.32h,109.02t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sB1ewSPbvWvPxJFKtUN_GVA!2e0!5s20170801T000000!7i16384!8i8192 An SGS203, which has turned on its bracket, survives opposite Loughton Homebase.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6590049,0.0670502,3a,20y,24.21h,108.14t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1so_WcYpBqSvuUqftfVlvYag!2e0!5s20180401T000000!7i16384!8i8192An MA50 on Golding's Hill is still soldiering on in 2019 and it's still in light! There is quite a steep embankment behind the column, which is probably what has given the lantern its salvation!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6618018,0.0663463,3a,20.6y,359.94h,113.39t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sY9Ao4U-TtzpCMUnVFqK7fA!2e0!5s20180401T000000!7i16384!8i8192 Another further along!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6604229,0.0669473,3a,15y,8.08h,127.8t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1stJ6A5RDRfE-dE5ZO9b394g!2e0!5s20180401T000000!7i16384!8i8192 This GR101, on a badly leaning column which looks to have been hit by a vehicle, has been standing here for a number of years, despite a replacement column (originally carrying an Iridium) being installed and in light for several years before the Digistreet came along!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6995856,0.1119916,3a,15y,236.73h,93.87t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sSsf67QFkcHqAcyZ87xtK6A!2e0!5s20180401T000000!7i13312!8i6656This very lonely-looking Iridium lighting a layby on Epping High Street is still here! This stretch of road is lit by SON floodlights installed on the buildings, which also still live on and are in light!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6558581,0.0389393,3a,31.6y,154.11h,113.24t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s0aEyIh4k2zVtCRYcq4xY6A!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo3.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3D0aEyIh4k2zVtCRYcq4xY6A%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D234.96219%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192 A single SGS203 has escaped replacement on Cross Roads, just before the Robin Hood Roundabout.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.7129875,0.162087,3a,17.2y,352.93h,110.93t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-F63o2h75kZcLM-GIX_WpQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656Another SGS203 has been missed before a mini roundabout in North Weald.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6485342,0.0553475,3a,15.1y,30.21h,97.39t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sg96sPwRuIasfb9Qj1Yggow!2e0!7i16384!8i8192 This Eleco HW509 in this council car park still lives on!

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6429153,0.0542229,3a,15y,346.85h,99.94t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1shkulkXBmYgOcgpw2cMUSyw!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo0.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DhkulkXBmYgOcgpw2cMUSyw%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D12.195924%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192 This Eleco HW509 is also still kicking, as are the Urbis Saturns on the curvy columns behind!

Brentwood:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6173473,0.2918314,3a,42.7y,163h,113.15t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1syCDcSbORjGrIHB44DuUrhg!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo0.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DyCDcSbORjGrIHB44DuUrhg%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D73.84601%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656 A GEC Z9454 and an MA50 live on at the beginning of Hubert Road, a side road leading into an industrial estate, which has probably saved these from replacement.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.6204931,0.2991252,3a,49.2y,49.22h,105.89t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sictywWVxYhfNVe9hS_5o2g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 A GEC Z9554 and SGS203s still survive in the William Hunter Way car park.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:34 pm 
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Thank you Phosco152 and A13James for your kind comments  :)

In February 2019, David wrote:
Last on the list is Colchester. It is very generous that ECC have left my home town to last  :lol: . Phase 1 (the LED trial in the town centre and the town centre approach roads) and Phase 2 (all full-night lighting units) are both complete, but I am almost certainly sure that Colchester has yet to see any Phase 3 works. The town is still seeing new LED casual replacements as and when old SOX and SON bulbs expire, but this is a slow process.

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Phase 3 of the LED roll-out is yet to reach Colchester, lanterns with expired bulbs are likely to be replaced with a new LED lantern when the street lighting crew visit the column. Pictured above is Highwoods Approach in Colchester last month (January 2019).

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Highwoods Approach as photographed last Sunday (21st April 2019). Philips DigiStreet Micro lanterns have been fitted.

Phase 3 of Essex County Council’s LED roll-out (to replace large-wattage part-night lighting) has now hit Colchester in a big way. I first noticed that the roll-out had reached Colchester about six weeks ago (17th March 2019) when Axial Way – a road opened in circa. 2010 – had been converted from the original installation of flat glass SGS203s to Philips DigiStreet Minis.

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Axial Way, Colchester, also photographed last weekend (21st April 2019).

Six weeks later, there is now very little in the way of large-wattage discharge lighting left in the town. Numerous vintage large wattage lanterns from manufacturers such as Eleco, GEC, Philips, Phosco, Siemens and Thorn have been swept away. I believe there are just five Atlas / Thorn Alpha Ones left in the town (we had up to 10 times that many a few weeks ago), and two Thorn Alpha Sixes remain. The few remaining Phosco P156s and P157s have now gone. The two Thorn Alpha Sixes escape for now as I believe they are under the control of Highways England, but the Alpha Ones are all Essex County Council and will be gone soon.

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Via Urbis Romanae, otherwise known as the A134 Colchester Northern Approach Road and opened in 2012, as photographed last weekend (21st April 2019). It is an example of one of the few remaining large roads in Colchester that has not had all of its street lighting fully converted to LED (the lighting either side of this junction is now lit with Philips DigiStreet Mini lanterns).

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An older section of the A134 Colchester Northern Approach Road opened in 2003 and was originally lit with Philips MA50s. It is now lit with Philips DigiStreet Mini lanterns, with the occasional Philips Luma Midi casual replacements from an earlier time.

This road is typical of many main roads in Colchester right now. The only large-wattage discharge lighting that remains in Colchester can often only be found in awkward locations, e.g. adjacent to traffic islands where parking the van would force traffic to pass the island on the wrong side of the road.

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Westway is also part of the A134 and is also awaiting conversion to LED, making it one of the last sites in Colchester with large-wattage discharge lighting. This photograph was taken last Saturday (20th April 2019).

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Colchester North Station’s “hamburger” roundabout, which is also part of the A134, offers a solace of SON in the road that cuts through the middle. This photograph was also taken last Saturday (20th April 2019).

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Phase 1 versus Phase 3: Phase 1 of Essex County Council’s LED roll-out (trial sites) used Schreder Amperas in Colchester and Phase 3 is using Philips DigiStreets.

In Colchester, the Philips Luma was used in phase 2 of the roll-out (large-wattage all-night lighting) and the Philips Luma and occasionally the ASD Highway Diamond Elite have been used for casual replacements.

In February 2019, David wrote:
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Although lanterns with expired bulbs are likely to be replaced with a new LED lantern, many locations in Colchester still have well-maintained and unbroken installations of SOX street lighting, e.g. in Circular Road South pictured above on Tuesday evening (12th February 2019). Nothing is out of light in this photograph.

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Circular Road South as photographed last weekend (21st April 2019). Philips DigiStreet Mini lanterns have been fitted.

In this LED roll-out which is for all large-wattage part-night lighting (Essex County Council phase 3), 8m columns in Colchester have had both Philips DigiStreet Mini (BGP761) and DigiStreet Micro (BGP760) lanterns fitted whereas 10m columns have had Philips DigiStreet Mini lanterns fitted. I would assume the choice as to which lantern is fitted on 8m columns is taken based on location and / or traffic volumes. There are some streets on Phase 3 of the roll-out which have columns at 12m, and these may have the DigiStreet Medium (BGP762) if the DigiStreet Mini is too much of a stretch.

In the Lighting in films and on TV thread, David wrote:
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A second example of SOX against a blue dusk sky. These are old-style Philips MA90s (with the streamline shoe) in Mason Road, Colchester photographed in December 2017.

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Mason Road, Colchester, as photographed last weekend (21st April 2019). Four MA90 stragglers remain in this view, although only two are in light. This industrial estate has had Philips DigiStreet Micro lanterns fitted.

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The same scene at night, also photographed last weekend (21st April 2019).

In March 2015, David wrote:
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Many Alpha Ones will also be lost in the LED trial. The Atlas Alpha One was launched in 1955 and the Urbis Ampera was launched 56 years later in 2011, so it's quite a juxtaposition to see lanterns from such different eras sharing the same street.

Colchester's Alpha Ones have certainly aged well and still look as good as they did in their 1970s heyday. I'm unlikely to be around in 56 years time to see if the Urbis Ampera equals the Alpha One's production longevity and long service life.

As there are only five left (to my almost certain knowledge), here is a quick review of Colchester’s last Alpha Ones before they bite the dust...

In March 2018, David wrote:
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Back in the 1960s, or possibly the late-1950s, Cowdray Avenue was relit with a seemingly unending installation of Atlas / Thorn Alpha Ones. They were all sleeved in the 1970s. This is the only one left.

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This Alpha One has a stay of execution thanks to the traffic island in front of it. As of this month, there are just three of Cowdray Avenue’s original concrete columns still in situ. The rest of Cowdray Avenue has been widened / improved / altered for junction access in the last circa. 40 years. This photograph and the next three photographs were taken last weekend (21st April 2019).

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Unusually, this lantern’s Telensa Telecell is mounted on the side of the shoe. The Telecell replaced a two-part cell that for some unknown reason, was drilled into the side of the Alpha One instead of the top when the time clocks were removed in the 1980s.

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The Alpha One in Cowdray Avenue is the closest one to my home in Colchester town centre, so an evening walk to see it switch on seemed in order last Sunday evening (21st April 2019).

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As of this month (April 2019), there are just three SOX lanterns left in Cowdray Avenue – the original Alpha One and two Philips MA90 casual replacements. They are all adjacent to each other. Ironically, the Alpha One is still in light but the MA90s are out of light.

In February 2019, David wrote:
Colchester still has a small population of Thorn Alpha Ones. As Clacton-on-Sea is about to lose its last Alpha One, I hope Colchester’s Alpha Ones remain in service until at least the LED roll-out arrives.
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Pictured above are two Alpha Ones in the Parsons Heath area of the town, photographed in January 2018.

One of this pair of Alpha Ones was lost in recent months as a result of a column removal or knockdown. The column is still to be replaced.

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The other Alpha One is still in place, but it is on borrowed time. This photograph and the next two photographs were taken on 21st April 2019.

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Further up the road and in the background of the above image, a short section of this road (the A137 at Parsons Heath) still remains to be converted to LED.

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A photograph of nearby unclassified St. John’s Road in Colchester. These columns were probably erected in the 1960s (else the late 1950s), were sleeved in the 1970s with their original Alpha One lanterns retained (as they were still relatively new back then), had their Alpha Ones replaced with flat glass Philips SGS203s in the 1990s and have now had their SGS203s replaced with Philips DigiStreet Minis in the 2010s.

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The third Alpha One still installed in Colchester (as of this week) is also on the A137, but on Harwich Road near its junction with Goring Road. The rest of the road is now lit with Philips DigiStreet Mini lanterns. This photograph and the next photograph were taken on 21st April 2019.

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If you are wondering why the opticell looks so white, it is because the reflective plate has been dislodged. It’s a sight that we used to see once in a while in the past, but we won’t be seeing again on British streets.

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The fourth Alpha One is on the unclassified Fingringhoe Road on the south east corner of Colchester. The rest of the road is now lit with Philips DigiStreet Mini lanterns. This photograph was taken on 21st April 2019.

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The last of the five Alpha Ones still installed in Colchester is inexplicably mounted somewhere near 10 metres mounting height on the B1022 Shrub End Road. This photograph and the next photograph were taken on 21st April 2019.

In the 1980s, most of Shrub End Road was lit with Alpha Ones mounted at 10 metres, but these have given way to knockdowns and casual replacements over the years. The only explanation I have for this is that when the columns were sleeved in the 1970s, the opportunity was taken to increase the mounting height of the lanterns from 8 to 10 metres with a double sleeve, but the Alpha Ones were not changed over to more suitable 135W lanterns.

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This road is unusually wide in places and the other remaining concrete columns on the road are also double-sleeved up to 10 metres. The rest of the road is now lit with Philips DigiStreet Mini lanterns.

Having reviewed that Alpha Ones that are still extant in Colchester as of April 2019, here is a review of the few Alpha Sixes that have been lost in recent weeks and the two that are still extant.

In March 2012, David wrote:
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The A12 southbound on-slip has three Alpha Sixes. Two of them are the first and fourth lanterns in this photo from 2008.

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How the slip road looks in 2012...for the time being at least. One GR150 on a sleeved concrete column has given way to an SGS203 on an octagonal column.

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The A12 southbound on-slip has just been converted to Philips DigiStreet Minis with this one 135W SOX MA50 straggler at the end. The straggler may be under the control of Highways England. This photograph was taken in April 2019.

In March 2012, David wrote:
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Here's how the Alpha Six on column two looked in 2008.

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Fast forward to yesterday and it's still hanging on, albeit having gathered a little more moss in the last four years! The tree is a little taller and the telegraph pole has lost its weather coating.
Sadly the above Alpha Six, on Station Road, Mark’s Tey, has also been changed to a Philips DigiStreet Mini lantern in April 2019.

Thankfully there are two Thorn Alpha Sixes that will avoid the Essex County Council cull as they are under the ownership of Highways England. One is on the Prince of Wales roundabout and the other is on the short section of dual carriageway linking both roundabouts that form each side of junction 25 of the A12. Pictures of the Prince of Wales roundabout were included in my post from February 2019.

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The one remaining Thorn Alpha Six on the Prince of Wales roundabout in Mark’s Tey on the outskirts of Colchester pictured here adjacent to an ELECO GR150 and a Thorn Alpha Four, which are both day burning. This photograph and the next three photographs were taken in April 2019.

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A photograph of the roundabout’s Alpha Six in isolation.

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Although the Alpha Six does not day burn, it does switch on earlier than the other correctly functioning lanterns on the roundabout. Here the Alpha Six is in the back of the above photograph.

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A closer view of the Alpha Six on the Prince of Wales roundabout at dusk.

In March 2012, David wrote:
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One end of the short section of A120 dual carriageway that links both sides of the A12 together at Junction 25. Photograph taken in 2008. The first lantern on the left (which has turned on its spigot) is an Alpha Six, the lantern on the right at the back of the picture (on the parallel road) is also an Alpha Six and the two brackets with missing lanterns are Alpha Sixes with snapped spines.

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The same scene yesterday (22nd March 2012). I thought it would never happen, but the Highways Agency are replacing the sleeved concrete columns, which seem to have stood there for an eternity. Even the double bracket that was missing its Alpha Six for at least four years (it previously lit the A12 northbound on-slip) is now back in light.

The following four photographs were taken in April 2019. It should be noted that the Highways Agency only replaced some of their sleeved concrete columns back in 2012, hence these six sleeved concrete survivors on the bridge parapet in the photograph above and the numerous sleeved concretes on the Prince of Wales roundabout live on to this day!

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A close-up image of the second of the two last remaining Alpha Sixes in Colchester. The lantern is still turned on its spigot, hence it is possible to capture this side profile image of the lantern.

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The Alpha Six lantern at switch-on.

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The Alpha Six and its near neighbours on the dual carriageway above the A12 at Junction 25. In this photograph, the Alpha Six is warming up.

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One last photograph from Junction 25 on the A12. The Highways England dual carriageway which can be seen the background of this photograph remains as SOX for the time being, whereas the Essex County Council controlled lighting on the southbound slip road in the foreground of this photograph has been changed to LED.

My travels through Essex routinely take me through around half of the county's other boroughs and districts, and as of April 2019 there is now very little Essex County controlled large-wattage SOX left, including in areas that were left to the end of the LED roll-out, e.g. Chelmsford and Colchester. As Ro Jo Jnr notes above, there are still plenty of stragglers about which will surely be picked off in the next few weeks or months.

In summary, if you want to see good-sized large-wattage SOX in Essex from now on, it’s now best to look in locations managed by Highways England


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:32 am 
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Sad times indeed! I've been admiring Essex for many years for the huge amount of discontinued lanterns it's had, but to see them now disappear so quickly and aggressively is heartbreaking! The policy of keeping high-wattage SOX lanterns around crossings is very interesting though, since I thought the LED lanterns would do a much better job of lighting the crossing and make it a lot easier for drivers to see pedestrians with their near-daylight output. Still, if it means that some Alpha 1s are being kept, then I'm all for it!

Also, massive kudos to Highways England for continuing to maintain the lighting around the Prince of Wales Roundabout, especially those two Alpha 6s!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:17 pm 
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I spotted a few more stragglers in Braintree today:

Three MA90s in a row on Railway Street. These have probably survived due to being quite close to the windows of some blocks of flats - maybe there was a worry that the windows might accidentally get smashed by the cherry picker? This must look very bizarre at night though, as the other side of the road has had its MAs casually replaced with Lumas and all installations behind are now Digistreets.

This SGS203 on the corner of Railway Street and Trinovantian Way. All other installations behind it are now Digistreets.

South Street retains its SGS203s for now

From a distance, it looked as if this MA90 is still standing


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