A programme to replace 50,400 streetlights across North Yorkshire with LED lamps has been completed.
North Yorkshire County Council said it was finished more quickly and at a lower cost than expected, with the project being completed within three years, instead of five.
Also, the programme was expected to cost nearly £13m but through procurement, that was brought down to just over £8m. Now, completion of the programme means improved lighting quality, a reduction in defects and standardisation of the street lighting estate and a significantly reduced carbon footprint with lower energy usage, said the council.
“Against a backdrop of spiralling energy costs and ever-rising inflationary pressures, modernising our streetlights had become essential,” said County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access
“When the decision was taken to make a substantial investment in converting all the county council’s street lights from incandescent to LED, we were confident of getting a 100 per cent return within ten years. However, our street lighting team and our highway maintenance contractor, Ringway, made such rapid progress that we are realising the benefits of this project much sooner as we delivered the programme early and under budget.”
The County Council is also working with many parish and town councils to convert their streetlights to LED lighting, said Planet Radio.
“Not only is this of great benefit to taxpayers, but it is of great environmental benefit as well,” said Cllr Mackenzie. “This programme, combined with the fact we also turn off many of our street lights for part of the night – between midnight and 5am – will lead to marked reductions in our carbon footprint, in fact the biggest single factor so far to securing the Council’s ambition of achieving carbon neutral status by 2030.”
The County Council’s LED project was also fundamental to North Yorkshire’s two national parks – the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors – achieving International Dark Sky Reserve status last December – one of the largest areas in Europe to be simultaneously designated.
The Council’s street lighting engineers had agreed that, as part of their street lights replacement programme, they would replace lights across the national parks with warmer tone LED lights (3000 kelvin) rather than the cooler tone LED lights (4,000 kelvin) they were installing elsewhere.