THE next phase of a multi-million pound project to upgrade street lighting across the county is set to start in the autumn.

Herefordshire Council says replacing existing lighting with LED alternatives will save £9.5m over 20 years.

The replacement programme began in the autumn of 2012.

To date, approximately one third of the county’s street lights and traffic signals have upgraded at a cost of £1.3million, which will, by the council’s calculations, save £3.2million over 20 years. 

Savings of well over £677k are identified in a £194,861 spend on upgrading traffic bollards, sign lights and signal heads.

LED – or Light-Emitting Diodes -  have a much lower energy consumption and need less maintenance. 

An LED emits a white light which shines more directly onto the road - with the potential to cut light pollution and intrusion - while making colours and facial features more easily recognisable. 

Offering considerable CO2 (greenhouse gas) savings the lights are also crucial to the council meeting its reduction targets.

The second stage of the replacement programme is proposed to start in the autumn and timed to end next Spring.

Around 3,000 outdated lamp post columns will also be replaced. 

This stage of the project is estimated to cost £6.6million and will save an estimated £9.5million in energy and maintenance costs over 20 years.

A break down of the project by phase shows that, so far, 5,970 street lights, traffic signals, bollards, sign lights and signal heads have been upgraded to make a total carbon saving of 14,153 tCO2 over 20 years.

The proposed second phase sees the remaing 8,944 street lights upgraded and 2,926 ageing columns replaced  to make a carbon saving of 21,855 tCO2 - or 3.7% of total emissions - over 20 years.