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Surrey's multi-million pound streetlights scheme reaches milestone
10:33am Friday 15th March 2013 in News
Surrey's scheme to replace or upgrade all 89,000 of its streetlights with energy-efficient lights has reached a major milestone more than six months ahead of schedule.
Rapid progress has meant the 60,000th lamp has been installed in Surrey County Council’s five-year streetlight replacement project, funded by a Private Finance Initiative grant worth £73.9 million from central government.
Contractor Skanska Laing has fitted 11,000 more lamps than had been planned by the end of the third year of the scheme - part of one of the biggest roll-outs of new lamps in Britain.
Work began in early 2010 and Tandridge district is scheduled to be the first of the county's boroughs and districts to be completed, with an estimated finish date this month (March).
Reigate and Banstead borough is set to follow Tandridge, along with Waverley and Spelthorne, with an estimated finish date this June, while Mole Valley district will bring up the rear in the county with an estimated finish date in March 2014, along with Runnymede, Guildford and Woking.
It is estimated that the project will save around £12 million over the next 25 years through a better contract deal and lower energy bills.
The work will also rid the county of its night-time orange glow, reducing light pollution because the new lamps direct their beam downwards and give off a brighter white glow which should make streets safer for motorists and pedestrians.
Each new lamp can be controlled by computer, which means street lighting will be able to be increased when it is needed and reduced when it is not – for example, as the sun begins to rise in the morning or sets at night at different times of the year. The council has said this will also cut carbon emissions. John Furey, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement to be more than six months and 11,000 streetlights ahead of schedule on such a massive project.”
Coun Furey said: “The partnership approach to the programme has been vital to this success and with everybody continuing to pull together, the last streetlight could be done many months earlier than originally planned.”
He said: “Residents across Surrey are already benefiting from the new lights, which are both good for the pocket and the environment, and many more people will soon be seeing the back of that orange glow.”
Deirdre Murphy, managing director for Skanska’s Infrastructure Services Team, said: “Installing the 60,000th streetlight early represents a huge achievement for the team, making it one of the largest and best performing projects in the country.
“We look forward to carrying on our work with Surrey County Council and continuing to share the benefits of the team’s outstanding performance.”
New streetlights have been installed in most residential areas across Surrey.