£25m street light work under way

Updating of streetlights at Ravens Hill Drive, Ashington, showing Tom Crabtree (nearest camera) and Peter Goodman from Power One Group based at West Sleekburn.'REF 1903150473
Updating of streetlights at Ravens Hill Drive, Ashington, showing Tom Crabtree (nearest camera) and Peter Goodman from Power One Group based at West Sleekburn.'REF 1903150473

Work is under way on an ambitious £25m project to modernise street lights in Northumberland over the next three years.

Northumberland County Council has appointed contractor Galliford Try to replace around 29,000 lights with eco-friendly Lighting Emitting Diode (LED) technology across the county.

Nearly 17,000 lampposts will be replaced, and all street lights will be fitted with new LED lighting.

The new technology will ultimately give savings of around £300,000 per year.

The programme is starting in Ashington and will be rolled out across Northumberland, with completion expected in 2018.

The LED fittings are more efficient, emit a crisper, whiter light and will make street lighting appear brighter compared the old yellow-coloured street lights.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment, said: “This is one of the council’s most ambitious projects in recent years and will bring our street lights into the 21st century.

“Like many local authorities, we have seen a big increase in street lighting energy costs and many of our lamps are relatively old and inefficient.

“This scheme will give us state-of-the-art lighting. The LED street lights typically use around half the amount of energy currently used by the existing street lights in Northumberland and with new, longer lasting technology there will be minimal maintenance required.”

The project is being funded by what is called an Invest to Save initiative, where the funding will be repaid over 25 years from the anticipated budget savings of around £300,000 a year.

Residents will be contacted in advance via a postcard drop through their letterbox, while lampposts in the area will also contain signage about the forthcoming work.

Replacing a light will take around 20 minutes on average, although if the whole lamp-post needs replacing this will take longer.