DOGS spending a penny have left roads bosses spending a fortune – because the animals’ urine is destroying York’s lampposts.

A survey of the city’s streetlights has found many are in danger of falling over – and dogs are partly to blame.

City of York Council said dog urine was one of several things that can cause corrosion at the base of both steel and concrete lampposts.

Salt spread during winter gritting was also a factor, while gardeners can destabilise the columns by strimming grass near the bases.

The council is having to replace 80 street lights a year, at a cost of £1,000 a time and taxpayers will be footing the bill for years.

Andy Binner, the authority’s head of highway infrastructure, said planned testing, coupled with visual inspections, had shown a large number of lampposts needed replaced “immediately or within the next three years”.

He said: “The replacement of unsound columns continues to put huge pressure on the street lighting budgets and will continue to do so for a number of years.”

Ann Reid, the council’s executive member for neighbourhood services, said: “They basically have a lifespan and each year some become unstable. We cannot afford to replace on spec, so we have to do the testing and replace them from a limited replacement budget as and when we can.”

She said several years ago some lampposts had become so unstable that they could be pushed over by children, but that the problem was no longer so severe.

Coun Reid will consider a report into the issue at a meeting at Guildhall at 4pm on March 24.