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Wirral’s streetlighting continues to go green

Works to replace the borough’s streetlights with energy efficient LED lights has reached a milestone of approximately 10,000 after continuing throughout lockdown.

Phase two of the project began in September 2019 and the two-year programme, has already seen approximately 10,000 streetlights fitted with LED lanterns and 1,500 columns replaced as of mid-June. These changes to the network have resulted in an energy saving against the old lanterns of approximately 60% and a C02 reduction of approximately 400t per year.

As well as helping to meet carbon reduction targets by dramatically reducing energy use each year, the new LED lights will also reduce running costs as the lamps are longer lasting than the original fittings as well as requiring less maintenance.

Cllr Julie McManus, Wirral Council Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Changing to LED lights will dramatically improve the network as well as making it energy efficient and more suitable for the greener future we have ahead of us.

“Although lockdown meant many council services and to come to a standstill, this was one area where we were able to continue to make progress. This is good news for residents, communities and the environment.”

One of the contributing factors to SSE Contracting being awarded the contract for this work was their ‘social value’ contributions. The council’s award-winning social value programme ensures work for major projects also include initiatives to support local communities.

SSE Contracting have a target to become ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ and their commitment to this reflects the aim of the LED Replacement programme, to establish a more environmentally friendly and sustainable streetlight network.

In order for them to reach their target, decisions are made throughout any work to minimise waste, including:

  • Accurate ordering of material
  • Working with suppliers to reduce packaging
  • Elimination of installation errors
  • Re-use of materials wherever possible

SSE Contracting ensure that any waste produced throughout the project is separated and reused or recycled where possible.

Cllr Julie McManus, continued: “Reducing waste and recycling is now so crucial as we face a climate emergency so having policies like this in place for large scale projects, from both within the council and with our contractor, is a huge benefit.

“This streetlight programme will help set the tone for future projects to deliver improved infrastructure for Wirral residents whilst also protecting our environment.”

As part of their social value contributions SSE Contracting has also funded large highway signs installed on Woodchurch Road, a significant route through the borough, to say thank you to key workers and NHS staff helping to Keep Wirral Well.

To find out more information about the project and find the most up-to-date figures on how many streetlights (both lanterns and columns) have been replaced to date, please visit: www.wirral.gov.uk/led