£5m investment in street lighting in Blackpool gets go ahead

Switching to LED bulbs could make Blackpool roads brighter after councillors agreed investment of almost £5m in the resort’s street lights.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 4:28 pm

Members of the executive have approved borrowing of £4.8m, which would be met from energy savings, to fund exchanging the current sodium lights for LEDs in street lights, illuminated traffic signals and bollards, traffic lights and pedestrian crossings.

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Coun Mark Smith said: “In some areas of Blackpool now it seems quite dark and dull even with the lights turned on.

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It is proposed to switch to LED bulbs

“Will the introduction of LED lights improve the lighting and make the area a bit brighter than at the moment?”

Antony Lockley, director of strategy and assistant chief executive at the council, said the investment would also include replacement controls giving the council more power over how it managed energy use within the lighting system.

He told the meeting: “I would say we would have more scope to control the strength of lighting across the town, and do it in a way that is making savings for us and making a dramatic contribution to the climate emergency.”

The transition, which will begin in 2022/23 and take around two years to complete, will create energy savings in one year “equivalent to turning the Illuminations off for 34 years”, according to a council report.

It will also help the council in its drive to become carbon neutral by 2030 by reducing carbon emissions by eight per cent, as well as cutting the £1.2m annual electricity bill for street lighting.

Annual savings of £688,000 are expected, and even with the cost of borrowing to meet the installation costs, the council could see savings of more than £6m over the 20-year lifespan of the LEDs.

Coun Neal Brookes, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The LED lights will be the best on the market.

“We will be in a better position as a local authority going forward because the lifespan of the LEDs is about 20 years.”

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