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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Cheshire East Council invests in improving road safety


Cheshire East Council is embarking on an innovative hi-tech scheme to boost road safety.

The authority will replace traditional lights at all 117 of its traffic signal junctions and 32 pedestrian crossings across the Borough with new LED signals – which are brighter, more clearly visible to road users and longer-lasting.

The upgrade will greatly improve safety, reduce accidents and increase the reliability of the service to road users – eliminating the risk of ‘total failure’ of individual signals.

All this and it is also less expensive as well – saving £75,000 a year on running costs and maintenance.

Clusters of several dozen small, energy-efficient LEDs will replace single-filament bulbs.

Lamps in conventional traffic lights are changed every year. However, LEDs can last between seven and 10 years – thus saving up to nine maintenance visits over their lifetime.

The move will cut energy consumption at signals by over 75 per cent – thereby significantly reducing CO2 emissions and the Council’s electricity bill.

This major Cheshire East Highways work programme to replace more than 1,500 pedestrian and traffic signal heads will start on October 1. It is due to be completed by the end of the year.

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member in charge of highways services, said: “This is excellent news for all Cheshire East road users.

“Safer roads are a significant goal for the Council. This innovative use of technology will help deliver a far superior, safer, greener and more reliable service for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. It will also cost local taxpayers less to run and maintain.

“Using LEDs will cut CO2 emissions by 252 tonnes a year. This will contribute to Cheshire East Council’s commitment to reducing its carbon impact on the environment.”

Delays to the public will be minimised by not doing the work during the rush hours – unless absolutely necessary – avoiding school-run times and working at weekends on traffic-sensitive junctions.

Although some delays at signal-controlled junctions will be unavoidable, temporary traffic lights will be used to control traffic flows.

The upgrade work will cost up to £650,000 – but will be more than offset by saving the Council more than £750,000 in running costs and maintenance over the next 10 years. Each additional year will save Council taxpayers another £75,000.

An interest-free Government loan of £200,000 will also help fund the scheme – delivering even better value for money to Cheshire East Council Tax payers.

The LED scheme could also be extended to street lights on major junctions and roundabouts in the future.

Cheshire East Council already requires all new housing developments to have energy-efficient lamps, such as LED, as standard.

Further details of the junctions affected and the programme of works can be found on the Cheshire East Highways web site

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