New lights switched on across borough

Street lights at Whitley Bay'REF 1911134819
Street lights at Whitley Bay'REF 1911134819

New hi-tech controllable lights are continuing to be switched on in the borough.

North Tyneside Council is rolling out the new bulbs in 10,700 street lights in residential areas with brighter energy-efficient bulbs, which are coupled with new technology to adjust the lighting levels.

The council has changed the bulbs in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint and also slash electricity bills by more than £203,000 a year.

The lights – which use 25 per cent less energy but deliver the same lighting levels – are fitted with a central management system which gradually dims them by 40 per cent between midnight and 5.30am, and can be individually adjusted to come on a few minutes later at dusk and switch off a little earlier in the morning.

The council has been able to install this system after successfully applying for a £499,000 ‘green loan’ from the not-for-profit organisation Salix which is funded by the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Coun John Stirling, cabinet member responsible for sustainable development, said: “Cutting carbon emissions as part of the fight against climate change is a key priority for this council as street lighting accounts for almost a quarter of the council’s carbon footprint.

“These new devices will give us much greater flexibility to control our light levels, consistent with proper safety assessments, and will lead to a radical reduction in our carbon emissions.

“Trials have already shown that people find that the new whiter, more energy-efficient lanterns give a better light and appear brighter than the yellow tinged lights they’ll be replacing.”

Mayor Norma Redfearn added: “We’re always looking for ways to save money, cut costs and give hard working residents the best deal without affecting safety or services that are so important to local people.

“This new system is an excellent way to cut our carbon footprint as well as our soaring electricity bills.

“Before commissioning it we had discussions with the police and other councils who are already dimming their lights in residential areas and they have reported no problems with community safety or road safety.”