Kent County Council (KCC) will spend £40 million on LED lights after agreeing on a policy to return to all-night lighting.
At a recent meeting of the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee, members agreed to introducing all-night lighting – with the ability to dim individual lights so that it is right for every street – once work has been completed on installing the new LED lamps.
Work to convert the county’s 118,000 street lights to LED is due to begin in residential areas next month (March) by Bouygues, who completely overhauled the Paris public lighting system.
Work is expected to be completed within 38 months and will save Kent taxpayers up to £5.2 million a year, once installed.
The newly-upgraded lighting will be connected to an individual central management system (CMS) that will allow the authority to monitor and provide optimal lighting levels in the future.
Of the more than 3,700 responses to consultation put out by KCC, 63% said they preferred all-night lighting, while 37% said they preferred part-night lighting at the current level.
The £40m project is being partly funded by a £22m interest-free loan from SALIX, a government organisation, funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It will pay for itself within eight years.
Matthew Balfour, Kent County Council cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “By embracing LED lighting in one of the largest projects of its kind in the United Kingdom, we can make significant savings to our electricity bill and cut our carbon footprint. We will prioritise residential areas before tackling town centres, and the main roads.”