STREET lights burning brightly 24 hours a day across Sheffield have sparked a one-man mission against wasted money and the impact on the environment.
Lorry driver Sylwester Zwierzynski has taken photographs every time he sees a street light blazing during the day.
And Sylwester, aged 34, who lives on Bramall Lane, has amassed a large collection showing problem lights in areas from Handsworth to the city centre, Upperthorpe and Parson Cross.
Faulty lampposts include the tall columns above Park Square, and Sylwester has also pointed out lights under bridges that are on all day and night but make little difference during daylight hours.
Sylwester, who is also the editor of a website set up for Sheffield’s Polish community, said: “We are always hearing stories about council cuts.
“But there are hundreds of lights around the city burning night and day.”
Now he has started a campaign on his website - www.mysheffield.pl - calling for the authorities to take action and turn off lights left on necessarily.
“Some of the lights are on due to faults,” he said, “but others are at locations such as under bridges, and seem to make little difference - yet the cost of even a single light could be quite high.”
He said he has calculated that the average cost of an illuminated streetlight per kilowatt hour - the unit used to measure electricity - is nine pence.
“I estimate many of the lights are around 300 watts, so they would use 7.2 kilowatt hours per day, equivalent to £236.50 per year,” he said.
“On columns where there are several lights, the cost would be much higher.”
He added he also had ‘serious concerns’ about wasted energy.
“My campaign is not only about the cost, there is the environmental impact too,” he said. “If there are hundreds of lights around the city burning night and day, you are talking hundreds of kilogrammes of extra pollution each day and thousands each year.”
The Government estimates that coal fired power stations, which supply the bulk of the UK’s electricity, produce one kilo of carbon dioxide for each kilowatt hour of energy - meaning a street light burning 24 hours would produce 7.2 kg of CO2. Sheffield Council said it could not provide figures for the number of street lights burning 24 hours a day.
Cabinet member for finance, Coun Bryan Lodge, said: “When lights are on 24 hours a day, it is often to test the circuit if there is a fault, and the electricity supplier picks up the bill rather than the council.
“However, there is an issue in terms of pollution but street lights are being replaced around the city under the £2 billion Streets Ahead project, which will see LED street lights installed using 60 per cent less electricity.”