Posts Tagged ‘streetlighting’

Council’s U-turn means street lights will stay on all night – but not until 2026 for Bradley Stoke!

Posted on Saturday 18th February 2017 at 9:36 pm by SH (Editor)

LED streetlight lantern in Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) has decided to abandon its controversial policy of switching street lights off at night, but it is likely to be 2026 before the lights in Bradley Stoke are returned to all-night operation, the Journal can exclusively reveal.

The decision has been made in the light of the increasing cost of GPS-enabled ‘node’ controllers, which the council began fitting when lanterns were converted to LED technology from 2014. The nodes provide very accurate part-night switching times and are GMT/BST aware, meaning that lights switch off (and on) at exactly the same times throughout the year. Traditional photocell controllers, in contrast, are not GMT/BST aware and introduce an additional variation of +/- 30min on the nominal switching times.

With the council not yet three years into it’s ten-year programme of converting all of its 30,000 street lights to LED technology, node prices have risen from £50 to £85 per unit while photocell prices have remained static at £10 per unit.

Although the price rise is more than cancelled out by a fall in the price of LED lanterns from £190 to £120, councillors have chosen to seize the opportunity to realise further savings by reverting to photocell control for all lamps converted during the remaining seven years of the LED replacement programme.

The previously experienced issues of inaccurate switching times associated with photocells will be mitigated by dimming the lights to 50 percent of full power overnight instead of turning them off completely.

By making the period over which the lights will operate at 50 percent output (i.e. 11pm to 6am) longer than the period over which they are currently switched off completely (i.e. 1am to 5am), the increase in energy costs and CO2 emissions will be minimized.

The council says it plans to start installing photocells in place of nodes in all lights that are converted to LED technology after Easter 2017. The photocells in these conversions will be programmed to operate according to the new dimmed all-night policy. However, it says it does not plan to revisit lights that have already been converted to LED technology since 2014 (including all those in Bradley Stoke) until the ten-year programme is completed in 2024. The altering of these lights from part-night to dimmed all-night operation will then take a further three years. If areas are revisited in the same order used in the original schedule, this would mean that Bradley Stoke’s street lights will continue to turn off between 1am and 5am until 2026.

More: Dimmed lights were technically feasible in 2014 »

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Bradley Stoke’s street lights to be converted to LED technology

Posted on Tuesday 20th October 2015 at 10:52 pm by SH (Editor)

LED street lights: Before and after.

South Gloucestershire Council has announced that Bradley Stoke is to be the next residential area in the district to have its street lights converted to low-emission LED technology, as part of district-wide measures to reduce street lighting-related energy costs and carbon emissions.

LED lights are fast becoming the norm for local authority street lights as they consume about 60 percent less energy than older sodium lights and last four times as long.

The advanced technology in the new lights offers a number of benefits including the ability to dim their output when required, in order to further reduce energy costs.

The new lamps utilise GPS technology in place of photocells, enabling accurate determination of switching times based on sunrise and sunset times derived from geographical location.

The lights are also known to help reduce light pollution by directing their beam more effectively at the ground, cutting down on light ‘overspill’ to the side and above.

Officers from SGC’s StreetCare & Transport department attended September’s meeting of the town council’s Planning & Environment Committee to give an overview of the project, which is due to start in Bradley Stoke in December and last for approximately six months.

Councillors were told that the new lighting is likely to “take time to get used to”, because the overall impression is of there being less light across the whole street scene.

Part-night street lighting, introduced in Bradley Stoke in 2011, will continue, however the new lamps will switch off up an hour later than at present (at 1am, irrespective of the time of year).

It was acknowledged that the work may cause some disruption, so SGC will avoid peak times on main roads. It was also pointed out that some of the works in Bradley Stoke are tied in with the North Fringe to Hengrove Package MetroBus scheme, so may take longer.

Detailed plans for the introduction of LEDs were approved by South Gloucestershire councillors in September 2013. Residents with questions about the new units can find out more at www.southglos.gov.uk/LED

See also: LED Street Lighting in Bradley Stoke (BSTC)

This article originally appeared in the October 2015 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Street lights set to stay on later following “widespread concern”

Posted on Monday 24th March 2014 at 10:42 pm by SH (Editor)

Streetlights on Bradley Stoke Way.

Street lights in Bradley Stoke that are currently switched off at around midnight look set to be left on for an extra hour each night, after Labour councillors negotiated an extra £50,000 of expenditure in South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) revenue budget for 2014/15.

A party spokesperson said the concession was being made in response to “widespread concern from residents about the council’s part-night lighting programme”.

Within the “main urban areas” of South Gloucestershire (understood to mean the area inside the M4/M5 line plus Yate, Thornbury and Winterbourne), the conversion to the new “standard hours of illumination” of dusk to 1am and 5am to dawn will be commenced in the financial year 2014/15 and be completed during 2015/16. Outside the main urban area the conversion will be implemented as part of the council’s LED street light rollout programme, which is planned to be implemented over a ten year period starting in April 2014.

The cost-saving part-night street lighting scheme was introduced in Bradley Stoke in 2011 after a public consultation conducted by the town council found that 54% of those replying were in favour.

Under localism provisions in SGC’s proposed new Street Lighting Policy, parish/town councils and even “formal community groups and organisations” will be able to purchase (buy back) full-night lighting with an annual charge levied to reflect the additional energy and maintenance cost.

The proposals will be considered by members of SGC’s Planning, Transportation & Strategic Environment (PTSE) Committee at their meeting this Wednesday (26th March) in Filton.

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Two years on: Have your say on street light switch-off

Posted on Monday 20th May 2013 at 10:15 am by SH (Editor)

Streetlights on Bradley Stoke Way.

With the second anniversary of the introduction of part-night street lighting in Bradley Stoke coming up next month, The Journal has today launched an online poll to gauge readers’ views on the scheme.

A public consultation carried out by the town council in 2010 found 54% of the 153 respondents in agreement with the plan put forward by South Gloucestershire Council (SGC), under which most street lights are turned off for five hours a night, nominally between midnight and 5am GMT (1am and 6am BST).

In general, all street lights have been switched to part-night operation, except on stretches of road within a specified distance of major junctions or roundabouts or where the road incorporates traffic-calming features. Lights are also left on throughout the night near pedestrian crossings and along enclosed footpaths.

According to information obtained by The Journal, installing the new photocells necessary to implement the scheme in Bradley Stoke cost SGC £25,756. The annual saving in electricity costs is estimated at £16,800, with annual carbon emissions being reduced by 105 tonnes.

SGC claims there has been no increase in recorded crime since the part-night street lighting scheme was introduced, although enquiries by The Journal reveal that the police are unable to provide crime statistics for the specific hours during which the lights are off, with the period 6pm to 7am being used as the basis for analysis.

When the switch-off first came into operation, there was a backlash from many residents, with one calling the scheme “insane” and others demanding the lights be switched back on in their street. One town councillor even claimed that residents’ human rights were being violated but he later had to accept that councils have no legal obligation to provide street lighting.

What do you think about the street light switch-off? Leave a comment on this story and complete the Journal poll in the sidebar of the website to let us know.

More info: Part-night street lighting in South Gloucestershire (SGC)

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