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LED replacement programme continues to shine

A multi-million pound programme to replace more than 27,000 streetlights in Wirral with energy-saving LED lanterns is nearing completion.

A report to the Environment, Transport and Climate Emergency Committee this month will set out the progress on the scheme to date and provide updates about the reductions in costs and carbon emissions the replacement of the lights is achieving.

Nearly all the scheduled work will be completed by the end of 2021. As well as the upgrade to the lanterns themselves, more than 9,000 old streetlight columns have been replaced too as part of this work, which has been carried out under contract by SSE, the council’s contractors for the LED Replacement project.

This year, SSE will have also installed 50 on-street electric vehicle charging points on lighting columns as part of a pilot project, which is aimed at delivering environmental improvements.

As well as helping to meet carbon reduction targets by dramatically reducing energy use each year, the new LED lights reduce running costs as the lamps last longer than the original fittings and need less maintenance. They also seem to be proving more reliable with a notable reduction in the number of report streetlight faults over the last two years – 145 in August 2021, compared to 429 in August 2019.

The new LED lights create a white light effect and are directed onto the pavement and road to help increase visibility for residents and improve the footage for CCTV cameras where they are in use.

Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee at Wirral Council, said: “We are making some real progress with our climate emergency agenda, which includes making our streetlights more energy efficient and ultimately, more suitable for the far more environmentally-friendly future we want for the borough.

“Streetlights play an essential part in making our community feel safe during the darker evenings, particularly when out walking, cycling, or using other modes of sustainable transport.

“The committee is looking forward to hearing an update on how the LED Replacement scheme has progressed this year. If we can continue to make such significant changes to our infrastructure then there is more potential for the council, and for Wirral as a whole, to reduce pollution by living and working in a more climate conscious way.”

The LED Replacement Programme in numbers:

  • 27,565 lanterns and 9,884 columns will have been replaced when the scheme ends
  • 1,423 tonnes of carbon emissions will have been avoided between 2019 and 2021 as a result of the programme
  • 7,700 tonnes of carbon emissions will have been avoided by 2030 as a result of the programme, compared with the emissions that would have been produced by the previous lantern types
  • £240,714 – that is the social value delivered by the SSE contract, which includes the direct employment of local Wirral residents on the works
  • £12.9m – total investment in the infrastructure improvements by the end of the programme; funding from a combination of the council’s Capital Programme and interest-free borrowing from the government’s Salix scheme