Athelstan Road residents celebrate street lighting victory

VICTORY: ARTRA activists (left to right) Joe Bacon, founding member, who bought a light meter on Ebay, Nikki Humber (member), Andrea (founding member), Luke McLean (founding member) & Otis (3)...

Residents in Cliftonville’s Athelstan Road are no longer having to navigate their street using torches at night after Kent County Council(KCC) saw the light and reset the LED lamppost fittings.

Members of Athelstan Road Tenants & Residents’ Association (ARTRA) have been campaigning for six months asking council bosses to take action to stop their street being plunged into darkness because of a lack of street lights and low light settings.

ARTRA chairman Matt Shoul said: “The space between lampposts – staggered on opposite sides of the street – is 30m, and space between lampposts – on the same side of the street – is 60m.

“It’s important for Athelstan Road to be adequately lit, so that the community can walk on the pavement after dark without having to use torches to see where they’re walking. That was an impossibility.”

Light readings are measured by a unit called LUX of which the national accepted level is 20. Directly underneath Athelstan Road’s LED lampposts averaged at  20 LUX but halfway between lampposts – on opposite sides of the street – was between 0.9 and 1.1.

Following the association’s appeals KCC street lighting manager Sue Kinsella and the LED Project manager Richard Emmett joined ARTRA members James, Bernie,  Matt and KCC councillor Barry Lewis after dark on Athelstan Road and Ethelbert Road to inspect the street lighting.

After an hour Mr Emmett took out a tablet and courtesy of Bluetooth technology, instantly increased the lighting settings of all LED lamppost fittings by 40%.


Matt said: “Athelstan Road is now illuminated just as well as any normal street in Kent – tenants and residents can now walk on the pavements after nightfall, rather than down the centre of the road, for fear of being unable to see and avoid dog fouling.”

The increased LED light setting is now being trialled for the next three months. It will automatically dim by 25% from midnight, although Matt has pressed for this being set to 1am.

He said: “Hopefully, violations of the current PSPO, such as its top  infraction of group congregations, recently involving 50 drunk/stoned teenagers rampaging on Athelstan Road and Dalby Square. after dark, will now be less prevalent.”

ARTRA thanked Cllr Lewis for attending the walkabout and for  his input on the evening and district councillor Lesley Game for helping to arrange the event.

Find out more about ARTRA at


  1. Well there is something I have learned – I did not realise the intensity of street lighting could be altered so easily !

    I appreciate the need to save energy (and costs) but at the same time an adequate and safe level of lighting needs to be maintained. We have hopefully progressed since the era of Victorian gas mantles !

  2. Since the introduction of these LED lights I noticed Northdown Road in Cliftonville is lit alot dimmer at night. Where the new Zebra Crossing is by Athelstan Rd it is very dim and drivers do not notice people waiting to cross the road. The other side roads are just as dim with these LED’s too. It’s a pity KCC did not test the LUX in all these roads and up them 40%.

  3. Agreed, please report in first instance and then if no satisfaction contact me, this is what residents in Athelstan did

  4. There are industry recognised methods of measuring street lighting. The simple one is using 15 points. The complex one is around 60 but it depends on the width of the road and the column spacing.

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