STREETLIGHTS returning to residential areas is “excellent news”, according to one Canterbury city councillor. Kent County Council (KCC) has announced it will convert the county’s 120,000 streetlights to energy-efficient LED. The scheme is expected to cost £40 million, but will reduce the council’s street lighting energy bill by about 60 per cent, which means the lights can stay on throughout the night. Last year KCC decided to turn off 2,500 streethghts and make 70,000 more part-time in order to save £1million. Many residents across the county voiced their concern over the dangers this “blackout” would present, with more than 11,000 signing petitions against the decision.
Conversion to LED could start in late 2015 and will take three years to complete. Work in residential areas will take place first, with town centre lighting is revamped in the second phase. KCC cabinet member for environment and transport David Brazier said:
“We meet with Kent Police on a regular basis and they have indicated that there has been no overall increase in crime since the introduction of part-night lighting. However, many residents want all night lighting and this will be affordable with LED technology while delivering huge savings in energy and carbon tax. Also, LED gives a better, more focussed light that is highly controllable and economical to maintain. This is great news for Kent tax payers and I am delighted to announce this proposal.”
The scheme to convert to LED lighting will be the biggest undertaken in the UK.
Herne Bay Times, February 4th 2015