A £9.7m plan to replace every street light in Swindon with energy-saving LED lamps is making progress despite the Covid-19 crisis

Council workers have already started replacing the lights in the authority’s multi-storey car parks around the borough, with the one in Fleming Way already converted.

The Brunel North multi-storey should be finished by early next week, and another three – Brunel South, Whalebridge and Spring Gardens – are due to have new lights installed by early October.

Maureen Penny, the cabinet member for transport and environment said: “LED lighting in our multi-storey car parks will improve illumination, making it easier for both drivers and pedestrian to see other cars in addition to entrances, exits, stairwell and lifts. This will naturally increase the feeling of safety and security in what can often be a poorly lit and dull environment.”

Work on the on-street lights was put back from its intended start in March in what will be an 18-month project

Coun Penny added: “The council is currently responsible for in excess of 28,000 streetlights, with more being taken on as new highway infrastructure is adopted across the borough.”

The lights are being replaced in order to save both money and carbon emissions.

Coun Penny said: “The cost of energy has been a factor in our decision to make these changes, as has the impact on the climate.

“Street lighting is the single largest user of energy for the council, accounting for approximately one third of the total energy consumption.

“LED lights are much more energy efficient and have a smaller carbon footprint being up to 50 per cent more energy efficient and lasting for 15 to20 years – meaning less disruption on the highways due to maintenance.

“Street lighting accounts for 50 per cent of the council’s electricity related CO2 contribution. This programme will make a positive impact to the council’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2030.”

The new lights will be dimmed during the quietest periods of the night to further save electricity.

Coun Penny said some of the lampposts will have to be replaced, adding: “We will endeavour to carry out the conversion as quickly as we can with minimum disruption to residents and businesses.

“The operation of the lighting and the dimming regime will be reviewed after six months to make sure we have it right but I do hope that with the greatly improved uniformity of light, people will feel safer walking around at night, standing at bus stops and generally reduce the fear of crime.”