A scheme to replace Surrey’s night-time orange glow with nearly 90,000 brighter white lights is set to finish a year ahead of schedule.

Surrey County Council has announced that rapid progress on the project means just a handful of roads are left to cover in one of the country’s biggest roll-outs of so-called “smart lamps.”

The massive programme will see all 88,000 streetlights in the county replaced or upgraded to light up roads and pavements with brighter beams.

The county council has said the scheme, carried out by contractors Skanska and John Laing, will save around £12 million over 25 years through a better contract deal and lower energy bills.

The scheme will also result in less light pollution because the new lamps direct their beams downwards.

Each of the new lamps can be controlled by computer so levels can be adjusted.

This means, for example, the lights can be set to take account of sunrise or sunset at different times of the year.

The county council said that 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.”

Coun Martin said: “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, said: “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.”