A major contract to replace 80 per cent of the county’s streetlights is well underway and will bring a range of benefits to residents.
West Sussex County Council is working in partnership with energy firm SSE to replace all streetlights over 15 years old with brighter, energy-saving lights.
The aim is to reduce carbon emissions by up to 25 per cent and cut energy bills.
It is part of a wider £270 million, 25 year-long contract for street light maintenance in West Sussex of which the Government is contributing £150 million.
More than 55,000 street lights, as well as illuminated signs and bollards, are being replaced or upgraded as part of the five year plan which is due to be completed by 2015.
To date, more than 40,000 columns have been replaced, with the remainder scheduled for completion by March next year.
New lights placed in residential areas use a whiter light which gives better colour identification and are cheaper to maintain in the long-term.
New technology also allows the lights to be dimmed or turned off completely after midnight where evidence shows that all night lighting is not required.
It is anticipated that the improved visibility will improve road safety and reduce levels of crime.
Pieter Montyn, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Many residents up and down the county will have noticed road closures as SSE continues its work to replace our ageing street lights.
“The reason we are spreading the work out across the county instead of concentrating on one particular area is to try and minimise the amount of road closures and the disruption this can cause.
“This much needed upgrade to our street lights will bring many benefits to residents, not only in terms of road safety and making our roads feel safer, but also in reducing light pollution and lowering our energy costs.”
New LED lighting has been trialled in particularly sensitive areas such as the National Park and a suitable LED solution, which uses even less energy and is cheaper to maintain, will be installed in areas such as Midhurst and Petworth in due course.