Making light work of saving £200,000 every year in Bath
Hi-tech new street lights will save the taxpayer £200,000 a year in Bath.
Council chiefs have reached the halfway point in replacing many of its conventional street lights with reactive LED technology.
But they are also switching off the lights on stretches of two rural main roads in a money-saving experiment.
Bath and North East Somerset Council is converting a quarter of its 16,000 street lights after a successful trial at Hicks Gate near Keynsham, where the roundabout became one of the first routes in the country to be lit in this way.
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The new lights will eventually reduce carbon emissions by nearly 800 tonnes per year – equivalent to three per cent of the council's total carbon footprint.
Two thousand lights have already been replaced out of the 4,000 which are being targeted.
Cabinet member for transport Councillor Roger Symonds (Lib Dem, Combe Down) said: "LED is a technology which provides safer roads because the lights are brighter and gives the council the opportunity to save substantial amounts of local taxpayers' money. This supports our priority to protect essential frontline services as much as we can, especially bearing in mind the soaring costs of energy contracts.
"The lighting uses extremely clever dimming technology to reduce lighting levels according to the amount of traffic using the road. It is a terrific example of the council improving a service to the public while saving money and it is also good for the environment. We are on schedule to complete a full roll-out of the LED lighting by spring next year."
B&NES said it had "identified a limited number of highway locations that may not require lighting at all, taking into account their accident records".
Among them are relatively straight sections of road with few homes nearby on the A367 at Peasedown St John and the A4 near Corston.
B&NES said: "A six-month trial will take place experimenting without lights at these locations. This will consider whether road safety becomes a significant issue. If successful, the trial will become permanent. If problems become apparent, the existing lights will be replaced by LED technology."
Neighbouring Wiltshire Council has switched off lights along some of its main roads, including the A4 near Corsham.