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York Street Lights To Be Dimmed 50-60% In Early Hours

street light

10:42am 9th July 2014

Fifteen hundred street lights in York are being replaced with ones using new LED "white light" bulbs, but the city council says it will also dim street lights by 50-60% between midnight and 6am.

The changes are being rolled out in Clifton & Rawcliffe at the moment, it'll come to Huntington & New Earswick from the middle of August until the end of September. Copmanthorpe, Bishopthorpe and Micklegate will see the new streetlights rolled out between September and December.

The city council is reassuring people concerned about the possible safety implications of dimming the lights. It says the new "white light" is clearer than the current "orange light". It adds that when the lights are dimmed they still fall within current lighting standards.

North Yorkshire Police has welcomed the changes, Superintendent Phil Cain said:

North Yorkshire Police welcomes the efforts made by City of York Council to assist the police’s ability alongside our partners in helping communities to ‘feel safe and be safe’. In particular, the benefits of the new lighting with regards to improved CCTV images is something that will aid criminal investigations in the city.”

A trial had been carried out in January on Hamilton Way, Collingwood Avenue, Stewart Road and Amberley Street in Holgate, which saw several street lights replaced by the new bulbs and also dimmed. York Council says it had no complaints about the changes.

The lights will cost £200 to fit and install but will save £20 in energy costs per street light per year, York Council estimates there will be a total saving of £30,000. The authority also claims there will be a £17 a year per street light saving in maintenance costs.

David Levene, Cabinet Member for Transport, said:

“LED lighting is cheaper, better for the environment, and gives a superior quality of illumination which will help residents feel safer and improve the efficiency of the CCTV system during operations and investigations. This is good news for residents, showing how we can have a Smarter York in tough times, and I’m pleased to have the support of North Yorkshire Police, York Environment Forum and other partners.”

Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, Planning and Sustainability said:

“LED lights hit several buzzers: they are Dark Sky Compliant - reducing light pollution and in turn increasing the number of stars visible at night and reducing the effects of unnatural lighting on the environment. They also halve the amount of energy usage per light by 50 per cent while maintaining current lighting level standards, and they save money.

“This is all part of our Carbon and Energy Transformation programme (part of the Rewiring York report which went to Cabinet on 1 July), which will deliver cuts in energy and water consumption, reduce carbon emissions and help address climate change. The programme will increase our income through renewable energy generation, and provide a renewable energy roadmap to speed the delivery of city scale projects.”

The York Environment Forum has also backed the changes saying:

“This is a positive move towards reducing the city’s carbon emissions and it makes sound economic sense, as well as providing better quality and safer lighting. Global trials with LED street illumination have shown reductions in energy use of 50 per cent or more, so the savings are substantial. We look forward to further developments within the city to reduce our carbon footprint and increase efficiency. As York Environment Forum states in its own vision for York 2020, it is crucial that environmental sustainability underpins all our actions.”

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