A WAITING list for streetlight repairs in Bradford is getting longer, despite a similar problem in Calderdale being almost eradicated.

People reporting lights out in their neighbourhood are now having to wait up to five weeks before they are fixed, it has been revealed.

Meanwhile, Calderdale Council, which had reported a similar backlog over Christmas, has managed to slash its waiting list by three-quarters.

Bradford Council has apologised for the delay in getting a grip on the problem, saying some of the workforce had been busy on gritting work.

Councillor Howard Middleton (Lib Dem, Bolton and Undercliffe), who had raised the problem at Christmas, said: "Eventually, you start to feel like pulling your hair out."

Bradford's repairs backlog first came to light in December, when residents were told to expect a three-to-four-week wait when reporting faulty lamps.

At the time, the Council said it was facing "exceptionally heavy workloads" because of a high number of reported faults and a shortage of cherry-picker repair vehicles.

Shortly afterwards, Calderdale reported a similar problem, and the two authorities were said to be trying to find out whether there was a common problem, such as a shared supplier.

But since then, while Calderdale Council has got on top of the problem, the wait has got longer in Bradford.

Cllr Middleton said: "It's a bit corrosive in terms of confidence in the Council, because people will be thinking, 'Why is it taking five weeks to get a street light fixed?'

"It used to be four days not long ago."

The local authority's executive member for Housing, Planning and Transport, Councillor Val Slater said: "It is regrettable that the waiting list has got longer and I apologise for that, but it seems to be circumstances beyond our control."

Cllr Slater said one of the repair vehicles had broken down and had been taking some time to get fixed.

She said: "We have commissioned an external company to try and cover, but then the other thing was that obviously we have had some bad weather and very often the crews that do streetlights get pulled to do some of the gritting.

"So all in all it is circumstances outside of our control at this time of year. I think the machine is now repaired, so that means we can increase our efforts to try and clear this backlog."

A spokesman for Calderdale Council said its repairs backlog had been cut by nearly three-quarters since January, and their contractor had allocated extra staff to the task.

She said: "We are hopeful that the backlog will be cleared by the end of March, but this depends on the weather and how many further defects are reported."