We have committed to upgrading and improving street lighting both on the highway and in council owned parks, promenades and carparks.

This follows a review into community safety earlier in the year.

At the Cabinet meeting being held on 21 September, members will be asked to approve an action plan that sets out key priority areas on how we can improve our street lighting assets both in the short and longer term.

A number of actions identified as part of the review have already been completed including the installation of 18 new lanterns at Young’s Park in Goodrington and the repairing of lights in Torwood Gardens in Torquay and the tunnel at Victoria Park in Paignton.

From this month the councils Highway Street Lighting contractor has been commissioned to carry out regular night scouting inspections of lighting in parks. Previously only commissioned to inspect streetlights on the highway, the additional inspections will ensure that lighting in parks is maintained in the same manner as highway streetlights.

There are some 15,800 streetlights in Torbay, the majority of which use LED lamps. We first introduced LED lamps in 2014 and have been proactive in recent years by replacing around 70% of its street lighting units to low energy LED lighting, which has resulted in reductions to energy usage, saving both money and carbon emissions.

To further increase public safety ‘part night’ streetlamps that would be turned off in the early hours of the morning and turned back on an hour before dawn, will be changed to ‘all night’ LED units, as units fail or reports of crime increase in a particular area.

In 2020/21 using £150k of capital investment, 210 street lighting columns were replaced. A similar investment for this financial year is allowing for a further 200+ units to be replaced. To bring all of Torbay’s street lighting up to standard, a significant investment of around £4m is needed.

Cllr Steve Darling, Leader of the Council said; “We have a responsibility to ensure that everyone who lives, works or visits Torbay are safe and feel safe. That’s why we have undertaken a review into community safety and come up with an action plan to improve the lighting on Torbay’s highways and public spaces. With a number of actions already completed or underway, there are still areas where additional investment needs to be considered to bring all of Torbay’s street lighting up to standard.”

Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture said; “The Council has been very proactive for a number of years in introducing more cost and energy efficient lighting, which supports our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Funding opportunities will continue to be pursued to ensure all of Torbay’s streetlighting is brought up to standard – both in terms of energy efficiency and cost savings.”

The full report and action plan can be found on the website.

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