Remaining non-LED street lights in North Yorkshire to be replaced

14 September 2023

At a meeting of North Yorkshire Council’s executive on Tuesday (19 September 2023), members will be asked to approve the replacement of all concrete columns, obsolete brackets and non-LED lanterns over a three-year period – a spend of £2.49 million.

The project aims to mitigate against the risk of increasing energy costs.

The outgoing district and borough councils, which merged with North Yorkshire County Council to form North Yorkshire Council in April, were responsible for about 10,650 footway lighting columns. It is estimated that 5,000 of these have non-LED lanterns.

The proposals replicate the steps taken by the former county council for its road lighting provision.

The cost of replacing the lanterns as well as necessary brackets and columns is £2.49 million. The anticipated savings are £440,000 with a payback period of about five-and-a-half years.

In recent years, North Yorkshire County Council replaced about 95 per cent of its streetlights with energy efficient LED technology. The completion of this project has seen almost a 50 per cent reduction in energy and a decrease in maintenance costs.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for climate change, Cllr Greg White, said:

The installation of LED streetlights would be a significant milestone in our move to a greener future, forming part of our commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The new LED lanterns are designed to reduce light pollution while reducing energy consumption with no decrease in performance. The replacement of older, inefficient lanterns should result in fewer defects together with reduced ongoing maintenance.

Between 2012 and 2016, North Yorkshire County Council converted about 55 per cent of its streetlights to part-night operation, meaning they are switched off between midnight and 5am when fewer people are using the roads. This resulted in a 25 per cent reduction in energy consumption.

Consultation will be undertaken with a view to extending this initiative to include the former district and borough council lighting.

North Yorkshire Council looks to take advantage of improved technology to implement part-night lighting and cut burning hours by 10 to 20 minutes each day. This would be done by changing the level of illumination at which streetlights switch on and off.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for highways and transport, Cllr Keane Duncan, added:

The efficiency of our streetlights is critical in keeping people safe.

Fitting LEDs will ensure there are fewer unforeseen failures which are costly, a burden on resources and leave residents in the dark.

This is a major project to carry out, but it is a worthwhile investment for the new unitary council that will ensure our lighting is more reliable and more energy efficient while providing valuable budget savings.

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