Apr 09 2011

Harrow’s Draft 2011 Street Lighting Policy

Harrow Council is currently reviewing it’s Street Lighting Policy.  In a ten page report for the Council Cabinet, some interesting facts are revealed about street lighting:

  • It accounts for 25% of the council’s overall electricity consumption…
  • …and 12% of its carbon emissions.
  • It consumes 7,544,870 kWh of electricity, equivalent to 3900 tonnes of carbon annually.
  • Harrow has 15,500 street lighs, and 3,500 illuminated items (bollards, road signs, etc).
  • 98.75% of lights are functioning at any one time (or rather, nearly 200 are out of order at any given moment).
  • It takes, on average, 2.75 days to repair a light, once reported.
  • Over half of street lights are over 20 years old, with almost another 10% over 30 years old.

The current policy of having all lights, fully operational for the whole of the night is unnecessarily wasteful in terms of energy use. Three options are available to reduce energy use:

  • Variable Lighting – between 12.00 midnight and 5:00 am is not considered to be appropriate for Harrow’s Main roads. However, it may be appropriate for our residential streets. This would ensure that streets remain lit, but that the level of lighting is appropriate to the actual level of use of the streets at the time.
  • Part Night Lighting – lighting is switched off completely between 12.00 midnight and 5:00 am, is not considered to be an option that could be widely applied within Harrow. However, it may be appropriate in some sparsely populated non – residential/rural areas/roads.
  • Trimming – switching on & off at lower lighting levels, by means of photocells with different settings

The council is also looking at new technology, such as LED lighting:

Major technological changes are taking place in the lighting industry. LED lighting is being introduced, which offer the following advantages:

  • Lower energy consumption
  • Extended lamp life (12 years plus)
  • Reduced maintenance and cleaning costs

As with all new technologies the initial capital cost has been very high compared to conventional lighting methods, but the difference is being reduced as the technology is improved and production capacity grows.

The report is still a draft at the moment, but we’ll be keeping an eye on developments, and making sure local resident associations are aware, and ready to challenge any changes which may make our streets, towns, parks or paths less safe.

Source(s): Harrow Council

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