Streets across Birmingham were plunged into darkness for several hours last night (Thursday 6th June) while engineers investigated street lamp failure, caused by a technical problem in the central control of street lighting.

B31 Voices started to receive messages and tweets from residents of B31, B38 and B45 at around 10pm saying that street lights were out. Not all lamps were out: some streets had light, some didn’t – or even half a street in some places.

As more and more messages came in on Facebook and Twitter it soon became apparent that the problem extended further than Northfield District, with people from Bartley Green, Bournville, Cotteridge, Hall Green, Hodge Hill and beyond reporting the same issue.

Birmingham City Council received a high volume of calls to it’s control room and reassured residents and motorists that contractors were working to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

The Highways and Resilience Duty Officers liaised with the Contractors, updated the emergency services of the issue, and informed the media and used social media (twitter) to update the public as far as possible that work was in progress.

All street lighting was restored between midnight and 1am.

A spokesman for Birmingham City Council said: “[The problem] was caused by a technical issue with Amey’s central control.”

He also reassured that action was being taken to make sure this did not happen again, saying: “Further discussion regarding the fault will take place today to prevent any recurrence.”

The #BrumBlackout on Twitter…


  1. 3 months ago parts of cressage ave ,coleys lane and centenary close all b31 suffered a 9 hour power cut ,best western electric came out and assed the problem and before long there was a smell of burning in the air and the road gang came out and before long there was a 4ft by 10ft hole in the pavement as they looked for the fault and repaired it.i took the oppertunity to speak to the engineer and asked him if the instalation of the NEW LAMPPOSTS as any thing to do with the power cut he told me that most definatly it is and that they are having problems all over the city with this issue and that they are in consultation with AMEY about this ,so I ask the question why are the installation of the new lampposts still going ahead and the power blackout talked about above were there new lampposts in these areas……

  2. Government contracts are all about getting cushy contracts. And because government contracts are so huge only certain players can bid, and the big boys all play by the same rules: we install it, we get maintenance, we want the contract for many years, if you want out then you have to pay BIG penalties.

    The PLCs just vary the numbers for the various components. Because of the ideological pursuit of privatisation there isn’t any alternative: the councils don’t have their own gangs to do jobs things themselves at cost, they have to go to for-profit organisations.

    This is the big problem with outsourcing state services to the private sector: the market price for, for example a completely integrated health service that covers everyone from cradle to grave, is what the NHS costs per year now (coincidentally the same sum what Trident costs per year – want to do up the NHS? Get rid of the WMD). So to privatise the NHS businesses would not take less than what it costs now as that is the effective market rate (plus they would have profit projections to hit too, meaning that really it would cost more).

    Anyway, rant over, I didn’t notice the lights go out yesterday. Not sure if they did or not…. We’ve got those LED lights on our road and I’ve got used to them. At first they were a bit blue or dazzling or something and I thought things looked unpleasant, but after a while living here stepping out under the infamous orange sodium vapour I’ve decided the LED ones are nicer. Those one or two wavelengths sodium vapour kick out mean that discerning colour is really tricky, I know we are all very used to them, but really they are best used indoors (if you know what I mean ;) ).


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