Switching on of new street lighting bulbs

New environmentally-friendly lighting is to be installed in the borough.

Members of North Tyneside Council’s cabinet approved the system at their meeting on Monday.

The authority is looking to reduce its carbon footprint and save more than £200,000 a year in electricity costs.

New energy-efficient bulbs will be fitted to 10,700 street lights in residential areas, which will gradually dim by 40 per cent between midnight and 5.30am.

Cabinet members were told that residents were unlikely to notice the slight ‘trimming’ to lighting times and it would have a significant impact on reducing the council’s carbon emissions and cutting electricity costs.

Coun John Stirling, cabinet member responsible for sustainable development, said: “It is important that we make this change over as street lighting in North Tyneside accounts for almost a quarter of the council’s carbon footprint and the annual cost is £1.76m, fixed until April when it is likely to rise.”

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “We’re always looking for new ways to make savings without adversely affecting services that are important to local people.”

She added: “This new system is an excellent way to cut our electricity bills and our carbon footprint.

“We’ve had discussions with the police and they’ve no concerns about safety aspects of dimming the street lights in residential areas.

“Other councils who are already ‘dimming and trimming’ their lights say it’s successful and have reported no problems with community safety or road safety.”

Coun John Harrison, cabinet member responsible for the environment, said: “This scheme is good news for council tax payers and even better great news for the environment.

“The technology will give us much greater flexibility to control light levels and will lead to a radical reduction in our carbon emissions.

“Residents will 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.”

Cabinet members also agreed to set up a study group to look into an option of switching off some lighting in non-residential areas for several hours after midnight, which has been trialled on the A189 since May 2012.