2,000 Swansea street lights to be switched on again
THOUSANDS of street lights across Swansea are to be replaced.
The three-year programme, which also includes road improvements, is expected to start in January.
The council said that many but not all of the 2,000-plus street lights that have been switched off in recent years to save money will be turned back on.
It said that, generally-speaking, lights on bypasses and major routes will remain off.
The £10.4 million programme has come about after the authority agreed in March to borrow additional money via a Welsh Government scheme which also provided councils with some extra cash.
There are more than 27,000 street lights across Swansea and many of them are old and in need of replacing. Energy-efficient lighting will be used.
First to be replaced will be the 500-plus street lights that were cut down because they were in such a poor state.
The extra investment will also target some of the backlog of road works highlighted in a previous council report. And improvements will also be made to some traffic lights and bus stops.
Carl Humphrey, Head of Streetscene in Swansea Council said: "Our long-term plans have always been to develop a modern street lighting network that uses energy-saving technology.
"This extra investment will help us to implement a street lighting energy reduction programme. It will enable us to have more street lighting than we currently have and it will be much cheaper to run."
Councillor June Burtonshaw, Cabinet Member for Place, said: "Street lighting is important to help make residents feel safe in their communities and they are part of the fabric of our neighbourhoods."
When the authority agreed to borrow more money in March, Cabinet members were told there was a £131 million backlog relating to road, pavement and street lighting maintenance in Swansea. The cost of maintaining them was estimated at around £19 million per year, and available budgets were insufficient for this.
In January the council agreed to switch street lights back on in Mayals Road after a rise in crime.
The then council leader Chris Holley said at the time: "One reason we switched the lights back on was the break-ins into cars on the street.
"Another was the break-ins of houses and sheds. Where the road is and the type of road it is were also factors."