Hundreds of new street lights installed in Sheffield have been praised for making residents feel ‘safer’.
Sheffield Council contractor Amey has so far put in more than 1,000 low-energy LED streetlights across the city –with another 8,000 to come this year.
The work is part of the £2 billion Streets Ahead project to replace 68,000 lights - as well as resurfacing pavements and roads – over the next five years.
The new lamps aim to give out a whiter light which is spread more evenly down onto the pavement, getting rid of the patches of dark and light created by the older-style yellow sodium lights.
Mum Carrie Leyland, of Walkley, said new lights on South Road had made a ‘great difference’ to her 14-year-old daughter Isobel.
She said: “Earlier this year Isobel was doing voluntary work at Walkley Library as part of her Duke of Edinburgh award.
“Although it is only a short distance home, she said she didn’t feel particularly safe as the streets were very dark.
“Then the new street lights went on and the area was transformed.
“The light is much brighter and makes the streets feel much safer and more welcoming.
“It has made a great difference.”
Walkley councillor Neale Gibson said: “The new lights will also contribute to getting more Walkley people out and about, which will lead to healthier lifestyles. This will make the city more vibrant which is a great thing for the people of Sheffield.”
Lights have been replaced in Hillsborough, Loxley, Stannington, Walkley, Wisewood and Dungworth.
Reducing crime, as well as making residents feel safer, is one of the aims of the installation.
Inspector Darren Starkey, from the Sheffield Central Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Anything that makes any member of the public feel safer on the streets has to be a real positive step forward.
“I look forward to seeing more of these lights being introduced across the city as the police, Sheffield Council, and Amey continue to work together in partnership.”
Further areas where the project will be carried out during 2013 include Mosborough, Manor, Grimesthorpe, Totley, High Green, Meadowhead, Tinsley, Highfield, Wybourn, Base Green, Tapton Hill, Gleadless Valley and Parson Cross.
It takes between 15 and 20 weeks to complete the work in each area, with all work complete by 2017.
Graham Scragg, streetlighting manager at Amey, said: “These new lights focus light where it should be – down onto the pavement and not up into the sky or into people’s houses.
“They are quite different because they give a white light which makes them seem brighter, as it is easier to recognise colours, especially when compared to the old yellow lights.
“We look forward to introducing around 8,000 more new lights into areas across the city this year.”
Streets Ahead work has already taken place in the areas of Carbrook, Ewden and Shiregreen.
CUTTING-EDGE SYSTEM AMONG ‘BEST IN THE WORLD’
Sheffield will have one of the ‘most efficient lighting systems in the world’ once improvement works are completed in four years.
So says Coun Jack Scott, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for environment, recycling and streetscene, as more than 1,000 of the lamps are being installed on city streets.
The new lights will also be adjustable – so the brightness can be turned up or down as needed – and will require much less maintenance and use 40 per cent less energy than lampposts do now.
Coun Scott, who met resident Carrie Leyland and her 14-year-old daughter Isobel in Walkley to see the difference new lights have made in their area, said: “I was delighted to hear Carrie and Isobel’s story and see how the lights are having a real benefit to people’s lives.
“When the new system is fully installed, Sheffield will have one of the most efficient lighting systems in the world.
“It will be controllable so we can turn the brightness up and down.
“It will require minimum maintenance and will use 40 per cent less energy.
“More importantly, it is about making a difference to lives. It’s about making Sheffield a better place to live, work and do business.”