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Revealed: The costs of turning street lights back on along two of Torfaen’s busiest roads

cars driving on a road
Cwmbran Drive

The cost of turning street lights back on along Cwmbran Drive and the A472 Hafodyrynys Road has been revealed at a Torfaen Council meeting. A council decision in 2008 saw the lights on these two roads, along with others across the borough, switched off at night to help the environment and save money. 

During question time at June’s meeting of the full Council, Cllr David Thomas, Llantarnam Ward, asked: “How much would it cost to have our lights turned back on, on our high-speed single carriageways? For example Cwmbran Drive and Hafodyrynys Road?”

Cllr Anthony Hunt, leader of Torfaen Council, said: “There are currently 252 street lights switched off on Cwmbran Drive and on the A472 Hafodyrynys Road following Council decisions in 2008. This represents approximately 15% of the street lights that are currently switched off across the borough. If they were all switched back on they would require new 75 watt LED lanterns.

“So that’s 252 of those and the capital cost of this is currently forecast at £104,000. The annual energy increase to illuminate those street lights would be around £12,000 per annum and other costs would be around £15,000 per annum. So in summary it would be around just over £100,000 in one-off costs and an increase in the revenue budget of £27,000.”

The £27,000 revenue budget figure is what the council would have to budget for each year to pay the costs of the lights. This figure would increase annually due to things like inflation and energy price rises.

Cllr Hunt continued: “The above figures don’t include any unforeseen costs in recommissioning the street lights, for example underground cable degradation, fuse carriers, cutouts etc. 

“These costs can’t be quantified but could be considerable as the columns haven’t been in use since 2008. I’m sure members will not need reminding that with the current rates of energy price inflation these costs could increase very quickly. Switching lights back on would also of course increase our carbon footprint as a council which will have to be considered in light of climate change.”

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Revealed: The costs of turning street lights back on along two of Torfaen’s busiest roads