What’s the rush? LED roll-out to take 36 years

WHILE CONTRACTORS around the world struggle to meeting deadlines to upgrade lighting to LED and avoid penalty clauses, one local authority is taking a more leisurely approach.

No hurry: Shropshire Council’s Chamber at Shire Hall, Shrewsbury Pic: Mike White via WikiMedia Commons 2018

Laid-back Shropshire Council in the English Midlands will complete its upgrade in 2054, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

It began its conversion of over 18,000 street lights – mainly high pressure sodium sources – three years ago, but its relaxed pace means that councillors’ grandchildren will see the last street light fall to LED.

The council’s director of place and enterprise George Candler told local newspaper the Shropshire Star that the authority had so far installed just 3,169 LED lights.’The authority is programming between 450 and 500 changes each year, subject to funding, which means it will take at least 36 years before all lighting is LED or its equivalent’.

The issue, as ever, is funding. Candler told the press that the money the council had spent on installing, running and maintaining street lighting had steadily risen over the past four years.

During the 2015/16 financial year, the authority spent £1.64 million, rising to £1.67 million in 2016/17, £1.89 million in 2017/18, with £1.99 million earmarked for the new financial year.

Unfortunately, Shropshire says it does not expect to see any savings in its street lighting budget when the work is eventually completed, as any efficiency benefits will be offset by the cost of installing more lights and a predicted rise in electricity prices over the period.

 

 

  • Exterior lighting will be the theme of the Safer Cities Conference which takes place on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November 2018 at the LuxLive exhibition at London ExCeL. For more information on the event, click HERE.

 

 

Comments 1

What this news omits to mention is that Shropshire is doing away with roads. The street lighting budget will be more than compensated for by the authority allowing its roads to naturally decline and return to the cart tracks that predominated before the motor car emerged. I suspect, therefore, that the replacement of the lights concerned are merely those that occupy the roads expected to be out of use within a few years. The local budget has no visibility beyond 2050 and the 2054 date is an arbitrary date set to replace the road and associated infrastructure, which will be updated in due course. Cart tracks are known to reduce road noise and provide sustainable drainage features, such as marshy areas that also sustain flora and fauna. Transport energy will be grown along the road borders - reducing the need for maintenance of those areas too. As this energy renews more slowly in winter this will automatically adjust road capacity to suit the weather. This visionary sustainable transport approach allows for self-driving horses and the return of natural manure to fields and gardens in lieu of current chemical treatments. This will also promote a renewal of stabling and passenger accommodation, thereby further expanding the jobs market and supporting local construction business and the sourcing of materials from local woods and quarries. Insulation and food will be provided by the sheep that abound in this delightful rural retreat.

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