Street light upgrade to finish early

A scheme to upgrade Surrey’s street lights is set to finish a year ahead of schedule.

Surrey County Council’s programme will see all 88,000 street lights replaced or upgraded with brighter beams.

Rapid progress means just a handful of roads are left to cover in one of the country’s biggest roll-outs of smart lamps.

The scheme, carried out by contractors Skanska and John Laing, saves around £12 million over 25 years through a better contract deal and lower energy bills.

There is also a reduction in light pollution because the new lamps direct their beam downwards. Each of the new lamps can be controlled by computer so levels can be adjusted – for example, as the sun begins to rise in the morning or sets at night at different times of the year.

Even with reduced lighting, the new lamps are still clearer than the previous orange glow.

Surrey County Council deputy leader Peter Martin said: “Finishing a year early is great news and makes that orange glow in Surrey’s night sky a thing of the past.

“It’s a glowing endorsement of the way everyone involved has pulled together to bring the clarity of brighter, whiter lights to our streets and pavements. The increased visibility makes Surrey residents feel safer while the energy-efficient technology is both good for the pocket and the environment.”

Simon Woodford, project director at Skanska, added: “Our strong partnership with John Laing and excellent collaboration with the council has meant that we have been able to complete this project well in advance of our target date.

“We are extremely pleased to have delivered an efficient and high quality job, with minimal disruption, that will benefit the people of Surrey for years to come.”

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Malcolm Sargent

If the job has been completed so much more quickly than expected but still charged for against an original quotation, I hope that Surrey have not paid’ through the nose’ for it. If it has taken so much less time it must surely have cost so much less. Was there a rebate clause in the agreement to cover this eventuality, I wonder. It would be good to know and we have a right know.