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Street lighting and reporting a fault

Roads Service is responsible for the design, installation and maintenance of street lights, illuminated sign lights and illuminated bollards on public roads and streets across Northern Ireland.

Reporting a problem with street lights

You can report a fault to Roads Service online, by e-mail, in writing or in person to the relevant office or by telephone (for emergencies only).

To allow Roads Service to correctly locate the faulty light for a prompt repair, it would be helpful if you could let them know the:


Damaged or faulty electrical equipment can cause serious injury or death.

Do not touch it or interfere with it.

  • town
  • road or street name
  • nearest house number
  • column number (on yellow and black label), if known
  • details of the fault; for example ‘not working at night’, ‘lit during daylight’, ‘column door missing’, or ‘traffic accident damage’

The response time depends on the nature of the fault. Electrical hazards such as missing column doors receive the quickest response.

Improvements to street lighting

Street lights are provided mainly to improve road safety at night, but we know that they also help to reduce crime and the fear of crime, and to enhance the night-time urban environment:

  • generally, all roads, car parks and footpaths adopted (owned) by Roads Service in urban areas are lit. Exceptions to this include rear paths which only give local access, and sections of adopted urban roads where there is no continuous development.
  • the street lights in new housing developments are installed by the building developer during construction. Until the developer receives an ‘Acceptance of Transfer of Street Light Energy and Maintenance’ from Roads Service, he is responsible for major repairs, warranty failures, repair of vandalism, damaged columns, routine maintenance and for the payment of energy. Roads Service is not responsible for street lights away from the public road network, for example, security lighting to Northern Ireland Housing Executive houses or in council parks
  • rural roads are not usually lit unless there is a community of at least 10 houses along a 200-metre stretch, or a history of night-time road collisions
  • all changes to street lighting, including improvement requests, are considered by Roads Service
  • Roads Service has an annual programme of replacing old deteriorating columns, as funding becomes available.
  • When renewing old street lighting systems, Roads Service aims to design and install the new street lighting to comply with current standards and policy. That often means that replacement lights are in different locations from the originals, or that lights may be removed if the location does not warrant renewed lighting under current policy.
  • the public lighting energy consumption is in excess of 106 GWh per year
  • Roads Service aims to minimise light pollution and conserve energy by using efficient lanterns for new and replacement lighting schemes
  • Roads Service takes into account various issues, including the age and condition of the existing lighting and its light output
  • Roads Service inspects street lights at night, every fortnight in winter and every four weeks in summer, to identify any that are not working properly
  • maintenance work is carried out by Roads Service personnel and private contractors

Roads Service aims to have at least 98 per cent of street lights working normally at any one time.

Roads Service also aims to repair faults within five working days of discovery, unless the fault is due to the electricity supply when the repair may depend on the response of the supply company.

How can I request better lighting?

If you feel that street lighting needs to be upgraded or installed in your road, you should write to the street lighting engineer for your area.  Please use the contact details below:

Street lighting in new housing developments

Street lighting in new housing developments is provided and installed by the building developer during construction.

Roads Service Divisional Headquarters

Northern Division

County Hall
Castlerock Road
BT51 3HS
Telephone: 0300 200 7891
After hours telephone: 028 7035 3202

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Southern Division

Marlborough House
Central Way
BT64 1AD
Telephone: 0300 200 7892
After hours telephone: 028 3752 9500

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Eastern Division

4 Hospital Road
Telephone: 0300 200 7893
After hours telephone: 028 9025 3000

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Western Division

County Hall
Drumragh Avenue
BT79 7AF
Telephone: 0300 200 7894
After hours telephone: 028 8224 1999

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Your request will be assessed to determine if it meets the criteria for new or improved lighting. If it does, it will be added to the programme of work to be implemented as funding becomes available.

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