Residents express fears after £10 million plan to replace street lights is announced
Stirling Council will replace traditional sodium lightbulbs in 12,000 streetlights with light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
Stirling Council is to spend almost £10 million on a type of street lighting that has been criticised as too dark.
Over the next four years the authority will replace traditional sodium lightbulbs in 12,000 streetlights with light-emitting diodes (LEDs). About 4000 new lampposts are to be erected during the work.
A £9.87 million loan from the Green Investment Bank (GIB), set up by the government to back environmentally-friendly projects, will finance the deal.
Council officials say the move will save £31 million over the next 30 years and cut power consumption by 63 per cent.
The new lighting is also expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 14,400 tonnes over the lifetime of the project.
The energy saved each year would be equivalent to the total electricity consumed by over 850 homes.
Stirling Council has been installing LEDs since 2014 and last August reported they had converted 3200 lights to LED and replaced 400 out-of-date lighting columns.
Fallin and Cowie have had the new lights fitted, as have parts of Riverside in Stirling.
There have been complaints that the new lights are dimmer than those they replaced and only illuminate an area around the lamppost.
Riverside Community Council secretary Ann Graham said some people in the area feel the new lights do not provide as much illumination as those they replaced.
She said: “I live in a cul-de-sac and we have one of the old lights and across the road we have the new lights and you can see a big difference in the lighting shed.
“From where we live, with the old lights, the fencing alongside the river was slightly illuminated. Now it’s pitch dark. You can’t make the fencing out at all.”
She added that, following complaints about the lighting, new and stronger bulbs were fitted earlier this month.
Chris Kane, chairman of Braehead Community Council, said there is concern among some residents that the new lights will create dark spots there.
He added: “We voiced our concern to the council and are much more confident, following our meeting with officers, that those concerns are being listened to.
“They cannot brighten LEDs but they can change the angle and put in more lights. We have highlighted areas that could be potentially dangerous when dark and they have said they will make sure they address that.”
Council director of housing and environment Robert Steenson said: “We are investing in the LED streetlights both to save money and make sure that Stirling Council provides high-quality services that are as sustainable as possible.
“GIB launched its green loan for local councils to help them reduce their streetlight electricity bills by up to 80 per cent.
“The green loan offers UK local authorities a low, fixed-rate financial arrangement over a period of up to 30 years.
“It has been specifically designed to finance public sector energy efficiency projects where repayments are less than the savings realised.
“The UK currently spends about £300 million a year powering its seven million street lights, with fewer than one million lamps so far using low-energy LEDs.
“Stirling is only the second council in Scotland and the third in the UK to take out a GIB green loan to replace its inefficient and costly old street lamps with modern, energy-efficient models.