All 20,000 Greenwich borough streetlights to become LED

Greenwich Council have announced that 20,000 streetlights across the borough will see new LED lighting after an £11.5 million loan from the Mayor of London’s Energy Efficiency Fund.

The authority do not state what the interest charged is, though do state it will save £1 million a year.

Five thousand will be replaced as part of 20,000 changed.

It will be interesting to know what interest rate they will pay, and whether they could instead have funded replacement outright given they expect to see an additional £60 million income ringfenced to transport – and whether that could have covered street lights.

Lighting placed on central reservation. Space better used to shift road and create cycle lane?

The extra £60 million is derived from cameras installed to monitor moving traffic violations – which is mainly yellow box junctions, illegal u-turns, parking on “keep clear” outside schools and driving and parking in bus lanes.

Greenwich did not use powers for 16 years after they became available and only switched on the first 40 last year, with another 20 this year, become the 30th out of 32 London councils to do so.

Greenwich state: “Fifteen thousand lantern replacements will be completed in around a year and around 5,000 lamp posts will be replaced over two to three years. The replacements will be done in priority order and as each street is due the Council will write to residents before installation starts.”

Whether some are repositioned remains to be seen. The authority continue to install lighting in certain locations that prevent cycle lane installation.

Lights strung between buildings in France

It’s also a bit of a shame more stringed lighting isn’t used or lights attached directly to buildings, removing street clutter and obstacles on paving in turn assisting wheelchair users.

Lighting attached to building in France

It’s clearly not suitable everywhere, but in certain places it would work.

Certain authorities in the UK do this widely, though in Greenwich borough one of the few places is a very small part of Greenwich town centre.

Lighting attached to buildings on Nelson Road

It’s extremely common on the continent, and in recent years regulations have changed to make it easier, though in many places the old ways continue.



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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

8 thoughts on “All 20,000 Greenwich borough streetlights to become LED

  • The City Corporation also fixes lights to buildings — take a walk along Fleet Street, for example. But I don’t know if it has to pay rent, access charges and electricity to the various building owners

  • We need energy effiecent lighting, sited/located correctly, with sensitive reliable auto switch controls to prevent lights being on either too early at twilight or too long after sunrise. Many of our current light fittings do not control the beam of light onto the footpath or roads where it is needed and we suffer from diffusely spread lighting which is bad for wildlife and humans. So lets hope the change to low energy lighting will give the council department responsible for the investment the opportunity to improve the design and technical specification our external lighting in all regards.

  • Wether possible they will upgrade the existing columns where roads had new columns installed around the Borough to replace the older concrete columms about 20-25 years ago. At this time more columns was installed in streets to improve the street lighting.

    There are many roads where the street lights are fstill few and far between and extra colums would be needed. for example Hillreach amd Littleheath, Charlton Park Road, Charlton Road (Blackheath), and Kidbrooke Park Road to name a few that largely still have the older metal colums in place. Also some roads in Eltham still have the older concete columns.

    Some roads in the Borough already have the new LED lights instaalled.

  • The problem with some street lighting is they are covered by over hanging trees which blocks out some of the light from the columns. We do need well lit streets LED units can help acheive this while being energy efficient.

    Trees also need to be pruned where they are over hanging street lights.

  • I would suggest that trees which can live for 40 – 100- 200 years should be managed but that lighting is designed to be effective under trees, not the other way round.

  • Not when trees are left to get out of hand and virtually cover the road. These trees also damage buses too.

  • Oddly, I quite like it when the trees block the street lights – the things are far too bright on my street and this time of year, when the leaves fall, makes the street lose all the character of a more dimly lit residential road. I really hope the new LEDs are dimmed and have cutoffs so they don’t spill light all over.


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