Historical and bespoke street lights in Portsmouth now making the switch to LED

CONCERNS have been raised over the fate of bespoke and historical lights in the city as almost all streetlights are switched to LED bulbs.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 5:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 5:14 pm
An example of a heritage street light that will just have its bulb changed in Queens Grove in Southsea

Following a programme launched in 2018 to replace all lights with more energy efficient bulbs, the city council has said it is saving more than £400,000 a year on electricity.

So far all lights – apart from bespoke and heritage street lights mainly found in Southsea and Old Portsmouth - have been converted.

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An example of a cylindrical street light that is set to be replaced in Queens Grove in Southsea

Now the authority has begun the final phase of the scheme, with 1,000 street lights left to change.

Martin Lavers, assistant director for regeneration at Portsmouth City Council said: 'Replacing heritage and bespoke lighting with LED technology is the final stage of a massive activity to reduce the cost and environmental impact of lighting in Portsmouth.

'The LED technology reduces light pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. It's the equivalent of taking away 28 hot air balloons every year.'

In conservation areas that have been designated for their historical or architectural interest, any of the older-style light casings - mainly referred to as 'Dickensian' - will be retained with just the bulbs changed.

However, existing cylindrical lanterns that were implemented in the 1980s and 1990s will be completely replaced with a new square style.

A council spokeswoman said many of these circular lights are now 'not fit for purpose,' with leaks reported.

Mr Lavers added: 'We are also replacing the circular tops to the street lights within historic areas so they are a more historically accurate, square shape.'

But Old Portsmouth resident and former city councillor Terry Henderson said it was a 'shame' these lights were being removed.

He said: 'I can understand the argument that some of these original cylindrical lights are past it but not all of them are and so they're being replaced with these off-the-shelf ones.

'I think it's just because the LED bulbs don't fit them and it's easier to replace the whole thing.'

Around 15,000 street lights in Portsmouth are now LED.

Work to change the heritage and bespoke lights started in March and is set to take around seven months.

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