Redundant bypass lighting columns to be removed

This story was published 5 October 2020

More than 200 unused lighting columns along the A63 Selby bypass are to be removed next month.

Selby bypass streetlight

About half the 400 street lights along that stretch of road were switched off a year ago as part of our ongoing energy reduction programme, with those lighting roundabouts and junctions remaining and continuing to be lit throughout the night.

Since the switch-off, there have been no reported night-time accidents and assessments of night-time speeds during both winter and summer months showed a marginal reduction, suggesting that the street lighting had little or no bearing on drivers’ behaviour at this location.

Switching off the 208 lights has saved almost £20,000 in the past year, and there will be an ongoing saving in maintenance costs of about £1,700 a year. In addition, switching off the lights brought an annual reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of more than 30 tonnes.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, said: “When the Selby bypass was adopted by the county council it added two per cent, about £40,000 a year, to our annual street lighting energy bill.

“Switching lights off along the bypass has brought a significant saving and brings this stretch into line with the rest of the A63. Our traffic monitoring indicates the action has not changed drivers’ behaviour, so we will now take down the columns, which will also remove a potential traffic hazard.

“The reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is to be welcomed as it helps to support the County Council’s commitment to aspire to achieve net carbon neutrality by as close as possible to 2030.”

The bulk of the work will be carried out overnight to minimise disruption and could take up to four weeks to complete.

The removed columns will be retained and reused elsewhere in the county, as will the lanterns, if they can be converted to energy-efficient LED fittings.