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New street lights for Telford will save £500,000

New energy-efficient street lights will save Telford and Wrekin half a million pounds and pay for themselves within the first year, according to the borough’s transport chief.

The installation of the LED bulbs is part of a £34million roads upgrade package, contained within the council’s 2019-21 transport budget, which will also see £12.5million spent on road repairs.

The street light switchover will cost a one-off £437,000 with £100,000-a-year maintenance.

The two-year capital programme report, written by highways delivery manager Dominic Proud and contained within the borough’s service and financial plan, will be discussed by councillors this week.

Mr Proud writes: “The council’s new street lighting contract is supported by a major two-year £5.3million investment in upgrading street lighting to LEDs across the borough, helping to reduce our energy costs by nearly half a millions pounds per annum and improve the quality of lighting at the same time. This programme is now close to completion.”

The 2019-21 transport capital plan also includes £5.4million on structures maintenance. and £1.5million for the upkeep of footpaths and £970,000 for drainage maintenance.

Mr Proud writes: “The New Town status of Telford means that much of the infrastructure is deteriorating at a similar rate and is now coming to the end of its useful life.” Spending now, he argues, will prevent the need arising for more drastic work and emergency repairs in the future.

Telford and Wrekin Services, who have been the borough’s highways maintenance contractor for 18 years, will hand the job over to Balfour Beatty Living Places on April 1.

Mr Proud writes: “The new contract will provide significant benefits through better performance management, a focus on getting things right first time as well as providing £1.4m of savings over the course of the contract.

“In addition to this the contract will bring significant social value benefits including growing the current workforce from 14 to 31 full-time equivalents, providing three apprenticeships and one graduate placement.”

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Council explains reasons for £45 million street light replacement plan

Bradford Council has revealed more details of why it is planning to spend £45 million replacing the district’s 60,000 street lights in a time of austerity.

Last year the Council announced that it will be replacing every street light in the district with modern, energy efficient LED lighting over the next five years.

The announcement was made on the same day the authority revealed it would be making £13.5 million in savings in 2019-20 and a further £19.9 million in cuts in 2020-21. The news that the street light programme would cost £45 million, at a time when cuts were being made to libraries and other public services, raised a few eyebrows.

A new report released by the Council sheds more light on the costly project. It says the change will reduce the amount of energy used by the district’s streetlights by 65 per cent, saving around £2 million a year.

The report also reveals the company that makes the low pressure sodium lamps that are used in 35,000 of the District’s street lights will cease manufacturing them next year.

It will go before Bradford Council’s Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee next Tuesday.

Members will be told that part of the funding for the project will be provided from Salix Finance – an organisation dedicated to providing interest free loans for energy saving measures to the public sector. They will provide a £13.189m loan.

The remaining funding, £32.4m, will be provided from Prudential Borrowing.

According to the report: “The project has been assessed over a 50 year period with modest inflation applied

to the costs of energy which is projecting a total saving in energy of £166.5M along with a maintenance saving of £23.6m giving a total saving of £189.13m over 50 years.”

As well as replacing every street light with LED lighting, 17,000 street light columns will be replaced as part of the project.

Members of the committee will be told that the new lighting will effectively be “smart lighting” able to report faults or damage when they occur.

It says the lights will also have a much longer life than the existing lanterns, meaning they will require less maintenance.

Councillors will also be told that the changes are vital in the face of rising energy costs.

The report says: “In view of the projected energy cost increases, in terms of options a do nothing approach would merely leave the Council with increased budget pressures at a time when central government grants are diminishing.”

The meeting takes place in City Hall at 5.30pm.

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A14 re-opens 18 hours early as work to install two bridges completed ahead of schedule

Work to install two 1,000 tonne bridges over the A14 in Cambridgeshire has been completed ahead of schedule.

The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon upgrade team installed the bridges this weekend at Bar Hill following several months of preparation work.

To carry out the work safely, the A14 was closed 9pm on Friday and wasn’t due to open until Monday 17 September at 6am but re-opened early at midday Sunday 16 September.

Julian Lamb, construction director for the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon scheme on behalf of Highways England said: “I’m delighted we were able to re-open the A14 ahead of schedule. The work has been long in the planning and I’m pleased to say went ahead smoothly. I would like to thank motorists, businesses and residents, especially in Bar Hill, Longstanton, Willingham and surrounding villages, for their patience.”

Prior to installation four abutments were built to support the bridges as well as two bridge decks at the side of the carriageway.

This weekend the team wheeled the bridges decks, each measuring 44 metres, into place on top of the abutments using a big, remote controlled platform on wheels.

The new bridges are part of the £1.5 billion major improvement scheme and form a new, improved Bar Hill junction that will connect the A14 to the future local access road between Cambridge and Huntingdon, as well as to the existing local road between Bar Hill and Longstanton (B1050).

The new bridges ultimately replace the old bridge that will be demolished in 2019.

Highways England is upgrading a 21-mile stretch of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon to three lanes in each direction including a brand new 17-mile bypass south of Huntingdon, with four lanes in each direction between Bar Hill and Girton. The project, which includes 34 bridges and main structures, will add additional capacity, boost the local and national economy and cut up to 20 minutes off journeys.

To check the latest traffic information for the A14 and other roads, listen to traffic bulletins on local and national radio stations, visit http://www.trafficengland.com/ and follow Highways England on Twitter via @HighwaysEAST.

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