Lights could be dimmed amid safety concerns

By Tim Clarke 03/05 Updated: 03/05 15:10

Buy photos » One of the bollard LED lights on the riverside which has sparked safety concerns. (s)

THE BRIGHTNESS of lights fitted to bollards on part of Worcester's riverside may be dimmed amid claims they could damage young children's eyes.

The county council has agreed to look at making alterations to the LED (light-emitting diode) lights along Diglis Parade and Kleve Walk, which were fitted as part of wider improvements to the riverfront last year.

Council bosses were prompted to act after former scientist Michael Arnold, from St Peter's, got in contact with the county council last autumn to voice his concerns.

He claimed the lights could damage young children's eyesight if they stared into them for an extended period of time.

After receiving his complaint the council commissioned further tests by an independent laboratory, which confirmed they met all necessary British Standards and European Codes of safety.

But the tests did show there might be a 'slight risk' if a young child in a pushchair was left 20 centimetres or closer to the lights and allowed to look directly at them for more than 100 seconds.

A council spokesman said this was because children's eyes were more sensitive than adults.

Mr Arnold also wrote to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) who referred his concerns to the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards (CRCE), which agreed the lights were probably too bright.

Mr Arnold said: "I believe if a child does run up and stare into these lights at close quarters their eyes will be damaged. It is a real risk."

He said the council could address safety concerns and ensure the path was still well lit by replacing every other bollard with a taller column and fitting diffusers on the remaining bollard lights.

John O'Hagan, head of the Laser and Optical Radiation Dosimetry Group at CRCE, said: "Having seen some of the data from the assessment the council commissioned, we have concluded the lights are probably too bright and have advised the council of this."

"Mitigating this problem is relatively straightforward - diffusers could be fitted to spread the beam and reduce the brightness or the current going into the lights could be turned down. Either measure would reduce risks to path users."

A council spokesman said despite the extremely low risk they were looking into whether alterations might be possible to reduce the risk even further.

Popular Stories »

1 Church services this Christmas

2 Work begins on former Russell and Dorrell site

3 Arrivederci as restaurant shuts its doors

4 Giles Potter misses out on X Factor dream

5 Kempsey woman killed by cocktail of drugs and alcohol

More news »

Local Elections: Green Party make history on dramatic night

THE GREEN Party has secured its first ever

Local Elections: City Council election results in full

RESIDENTS in 12 wards across Worcester went to

Exclusive: Brave rower plans Pacific challenge

A COURAGEOUS oarsman left partially paralysed by a

Renowned botantist opens school's new pond

A FORMER director of the world-renowned Royal Botanic

Regional news »

Stratford Observer
Branching out for charity

CARING Stratford residents can remember a loved one and help ...

Bromsgrove Standard
Shots fired outside Longbridge Police Station

SHOTS fired outside Longbridge Police Station has led to one ...

Redditch Standard
Separate police leaders a 'waste of money'

JOINING two police forces but keeping separate leadership teams could ...

Evesham Observer
Festive fare at fayre

HUNDREDS of pounds was raised when a Vale village hosted ...

Business Directory »

See your advert here »