Birmingham City Council and Amey are celebrating installing the first 10,000 LED lamp columns – saving taxpayer cash and 1,888 tonnes of carbon each year through their use – just two years into the groundbreaking Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management Service.
The service includes a programme to replace more than 95,000 street lights with the state-of-the-art Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology which could eventually cut the council’s energy bill by up to £3million annually, carbon emissions by up to 60 per cent and improve safety.
The installation of the 10,000th column on the project has been recognised with a special milestone column being unveiled in King Edward’s Road in Ladywood by Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for Green, Safe and Smart City. The road previously suffered from a low standard, aged and outdated lighting system. The new columns provide a much brighter, cheaper and environmentally-friendly source of light.
The milestone column marks the carbon savings made by the first 10,000 lights – and by the end of 2015, when the first 41,500 columns will have been replaced, saving 5,171 tonnes of carbon a year.
The cutting edge lights not only reduce carbon emissions but are brighter than traditional lights, and enable operators to control and adjust their levels remotely. Residents have reported feeing safer when walking down previously poorly lit streets as the LED lights allow a wider spectrum of colours to be seen and facial features to be distinguished. This is not achievable with some forms of traditional lighting, which can make it more difficult to distinguish colours. In a customer survey, 86 per cent of respondents said the new lights made them feel safer.
The LED lights also contribute to reducing light pollution by the ability to direct light downwards and reducing the ‘orange glow’ which can be a common visual night sky scene above cities.
Cllr McKay said: “Ensuring Birmingham is a green, safe and smart city is a key objective of the City Council and the street lighting solution delivers on all three aspects.
“It is great news that we are already reaping the benefits of energy-saving LEDs and reducing carbon emissions, but the street lights are equally beneficial in ensuring communities are brighter and feel safer at night. The ability to control the lights remotely is a great example of how Birmingham is becoming a smart city.
“There is also a benefit to taxpayers as the new lighting uses less energy – in a time of spiralling energy costs, this is a real boost for us. Our annual street lighting bill is around £5million, so any reduction, thanks to LEDs, could mean a saving of up to £3million.”
John Sunderland, Business Director at Amey said: “The energy savings and carbon reduction associated with the streetlighting programme are virtually unprecedented – but the benefits do not end there.
“The LED street lights improve safety and security – meaning that all who live and work in the city should benefit from their use.
“We are delighted to work with Birmingham City Council to deliver this truly innovative solution and help to ensure Birmingham is a world-class city.”
Notes to Editors
• In 2010, Amey won the Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management Service contract to manage and maintain the city’s roads over the next 25 years. The contract will see a huge investment into the city’s road network and Amey is working in partnership with Birmingham City Council to deliver the contract. The works include refurbishment and improvement of the city’s roads, footways, bridges, tunnels, street lighting and traffic control systems. Across the city, this includes 2,500km of road network, 95,000 street lights, 76,000 trees, 850 highway structures and bridges.
• Amey is a leading UK infrastructure services provider with more than 11,000 staff. The company works across three main markets – Inter Urban, Local Government and Built Environment, which are supported by our award-winning consultancy division. Amey delivers services in the highways, roads, schools, waste, rail, fleet solutions, workspace, street lighting, commercial, housing and aviation sectors. By offering a complete life-cycle solution for services, we maximise efficiencies for our customers.
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