9. GEC Z9538

Spotted on the 3rd April 2005 on Hedingham Way, Mickleover. Yes, this is the same road as the Z9538 that was damaged in #5, however there is also major damage to the column and bracket on this occasion, meaning that an entirely new column was required.

What I think happened: The column was obviously hit by a (speeding?) vehicle. It is not far from a bend in the road, and so would perhaps be quite vulnerable being hit by a vehicle skidding out of control.


A large scar in the grass shows where the wheels on one side of the vehicle have gone along. The vehicle must have been reasonably heavy as the scar has some depth to it. There is a mark on the back of the column that shows where the main impact took place.

The main shaft of the column has twisted from the impact, causing the bracket to point at a very strange angle.

I first noticed that the column had been replaced on Saturday, 2nd July 2005. The replacement lantern was a WRTL Arc - in the past, a Thorn Beta 2 would have been used, but it was decided fairly early-on in 2005 that SOX was no longer going to be installed on roads in the Derby City area. Instead, the council decided that SON and Metal Halide would become the norm, and so the Arc was chosen as the standard lantern. This is the first Arc I have seen in the City area, though the County Council had used it for some time before it was also adopted by the City Council as their 'default' lantern.

The SS3DR photocell is obviously faulty as the lantern has already started dayburning. This was rectified in due course.


The 'new' column was itself damaged in a collision with a vehicle in April 2010. This time, a new 10 m column, bearing a PFI-style maintenance number and fitted with an SGS 254 Iridium running a (presumed) 150 Watt SON lamp, appeared a few weeks later. Is this a sign of things to come on Hedingham Way? We shall find out in due course.

The new column looks utterly ridiculous in amongst the surviving 6m columns. In addition, the single-arm Abacus columns supporting Thorn Pilotes that are visible on the other side of the hedge (on the A516 slip road) are of the same height, and the lanterns of the same wattage, as the new column supporting the Iridium is. I sincerely hope that this is not how the rest of the new columns on Hedingham Way will look when the scheme is completed, but I have a nasty feeling that they will. (I was right.)

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