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Lighting project is streets ahead

Lighting project is streets ahead

24 March 2016
Street lighting

Work starts early next month (April) in Earley on a Wokingham Borough Council project to replace some 8,000 street light columns and more than 13,000 new LED lanterns across the whole borough.


These will include those on major roads, in residential areas, in parks and open spaces, property and car park lighting, as well as some owned by town and parish councils.


The borough council is joining Slough and Reading councils as partners in the scheme, thanks to £18.9million from the Department for Transport (DfT) which is being split between the three.


The work is due to take two years to complete.


Local authorities have a legal duty to maintain street lighting so this funding is a welcome opportunity to replace and upgrade ageing pieces with the latest technology that reduces street light carbon footprints, as well as improve their management.


As a joint project it also means the three authorities can take advantage of economies of scale in terms of resources and costs - making the funding go further.

Each authority will take the lead in managing the scheme in their own borough and pay a small percentage of their costs, with the DfT funding covering the majority. Town and parish councils involved in the scheme will fund their highway lighting work in a similar way.


"We have an ongoing programme to replace and update our 16,000 street lights across the borough, but this funding gives us a fantastic opportunity to target a significant number in one go," said Cllr Keith Baker, leader of the council.


"These new LED lanterns are greener with a lower carbon footprint, are cheaper to maintain, and easier to manage because they are run through a central management system.


"The white light produced by these LED lanterns is also more natural so is better for our eyes."


Current research nationally says crime levels aren’t affected by the introduction of white light, dimming and/ or part-night lighting. Moreover pedestrians tend to feel more comfortable at night because they can see better.

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