North Yorkshire County Council has completed its carbon reduction programme in which it has replaced 50,400 streetlights with energy-saving LED lamps.

The project has been concluded in three years, two years quicker than estimated, and has been carried out across the county’s largest highways network.

The ambitious programme has also been completed for just £8million, significantly cheaper than the £13million projected.

North Yorkshire County Councillor and Executive Member for Access Don Mackenzie said:

“Against a backdrop of spiralling energy costs and ever-rising inflationary pressures, modernising our streetlights had become essential.

“When the decision was taken to make a substantial investment in converting all the county council’s street lights from incandescent to LED, we were confident of getting a 100 per cent return within ten years.

“However, our street lighting team and our highway maintenance contractor, Ringway, made such rapid progress that we are realising the benefits of this project much sooner as we delivered the programme early and under budget.”

Completion of the programme means improved lighting quality, a reduction in defects and standardisation of the street lighting estate, as well as a significantly reduced carbon footprint with lower energy usage.

The County Council is also working with many parish and town councils to convert their streetlights to LED lighting.

Cllr Mackenzie added:

“Not only is this of great benefit to taxpayers, but it is of great environmental benefit as well.

“This programme, combined with the fact we also turn off many of our street lights for part of the night – between midnight and 5am – will lead to marked reductions in our carbon footprint, in fact the biggest single factor so far to securing the Council’s ambition of achieving carbon neutral status by 2030.”

The County Council’s LED project was also fundamental to North Yorkshire’s two national parks, the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, achieving International Dark Sky Reserve status last December – one of the largest areas in Europe to be simultaneously designated.

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