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‘Human error’ reason for ‘dangerous’ street light blackout

Apology after street lights fail to turn on

02 November, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

ROADS across Islington were plunged into darkness last Thursday when a “human error” caused street lights to fail.

The blackout left residents baffled and cyclists were left struggling to find their way home.

The company SSE, which is contracted by Islington Council to run its street lights through a private finance initiative, said it was alerted to the fault at 6.30pm and the problem was sorted out just before midnight.

It said the lights did not switch on because of a “manual input error while optimising the systems performance”.

Cllr Caroline Russell, the sole opposition Green councillor, said: “It’s worrying that a ‘manual input error’ was able to plunge Islington into darkness last Thursday night. It was surprisingly dark and a bit creepy. I was very glad to be on a bike and not walking.

“With more and more people working evenings and nights, it’s crucial we can rely on well-lit streets to get home in safety.”

On Twitter, a cyclist said: “Over half my cycle home had no street lights. It’s ridiculously dark and dangerous – couldn’t even see people crossing the street.”

An SSE spokeswoman said: “All issues have now been addressed with additional checks put in place.”

A Town Hall spokesman said last Friday: “We apologise for last night’s street light outage. SSE tell us this was caused by human error and that all issues have now been addressed, with additional checks put in place.”

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