High cost of lights upgrade for St Albans district

Part-night street lighting is to be replaced by LED lights

Part-night street lighting is to be replaced by LED lights - Credit: Archant

Street lighting on many St Albans roads is to be upgraded to energy-efficient LED lights - only a few years after the county council spent thousands of pounds on converting many street lights to part night lighting.

And even though the LED lights to be installed on B, C, and unclassified residential roads and footpaths in the district can be dimmed to save energy, there will be no change to the policy of switching off lights from midnight to 6am in many residential roads.

In February 2011, the county council agreed to spend £4.5 million to introduce part-night lighting across Herts and many of those street lights will now be converted to LED lighting

The aim of part night lighting was to save £1.3 million annually in running costs as well as reduce the county’s carbon footprint.

But the decision to plunge roads into darkness generated a lot of concerns about safety at night and the Herts Advertiser highlighted instances of attacks which were directly blamed on pitch-black roads.

The upgrade to LED will be completed in late July this year and follows a similar programme on A roads across the county. A total of 2,680 lights in St Albans will be upgraded.

The new lights will be connected to a Central Management System (CMS), which detects faults and enables changes to be made to settings at a central point.

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It means that in roads which has not gone over to part night lighting, levels can be reduced between 11pm and 6am to make them more economical and increased if more light is needed such as in the event of an accident.

Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “The new LEDs use much less energy than conventional streetlights, improve visibility for road users and can be controlled and monitored centrally, which in turn reduces costs.