Work has began to rid Surrey of its night time orange glow and replace it with the clarity of brighter white lights, increasing visibility and making the county’s streets safer for motorists and pedestrians.
All of Surrey’s 89,000 streetlights will be replaced with smart lamps linked to Britain’s most powerful dimmer switch in the biggest project of its kind ever seen in this country. Work is beginning in Reigate and Banstead and is expected to take a year to complete.
The environmental benefits are huge with the energy efficient technology expected to save more than 60,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over the next 25 years. The project, which is mainly being paid for by a Private Finance Initiative, is set to save Surrey taxpayers at least £12 million over the same period due to lower energy bills and a better contract deal. There will also be a reduction in light pollution because the new lights direct more of their beam downwards.
The individual lights can be remotely controlled from a control centre in Merrow, Guildford. At present Surrey’s street lights are programmed to come on and go off at set times in the day, so there is little opportunity to make energy savings. Under the new system, lighting will be increased where it is most needed and reduced where it is not – for example, as the sun begins to rise in the morning or sets at night at different times of the year and to adapt to local light conditions.
Cllr Mark Brunt – Merstham Ward Councillor
”The bright white lights will increase visibility and hopefully make Merstham residents feel safer when travelling at night. Local people have long complained about poor and broken street lighting, this project will deliver greatly improved and reliable street lighting.”