CEO CALLS ON TRANSPORT MINISTER TO INVEST IN HIGHWAY LIGHTING INFRASTRUCTURE

10 July 2018

ceo calls on transport minister to invest in highway lighting infrastructure image

Jo Bell, ILP Operations Assistant

PRESS RELEASE

ILP CEO calls on Transport Minister to invest in highway lighting infrastructure to support Road to Zero Strategy

The Institution of Lighting Professionals’ CEO, Tracey White, has written to Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport supporting the principles of the Government’s Road to Zero strategy and highlighting the need for greater investment in highway lighting infrastructure to ensure the strategy’ successful delivery.

The Road to Zero Strategy sets out plans to enable a massive expansion of green infrastructure across the country, reducing emissions from the vehicles already on the UK’s roads, and driving the uptake of zero emission cars, vans and trucks. Measures announced include a push for charge points to be installed in newly built homes and new lighting columns to include charging points, potentially providing a massive expansion of the plug-in network.

In her letter to the Minister, White explained that the ILP had long advocated the need to ‘future proof’ UK infrastructure and therefore welcomed the strategy as an important step forward. However, White went on to comment, “We have been concerned for some time that pressure on local government budgets has led to investment in energy saving initiatives but a lack of investment in new highway lighting Infrastructure. This has created the position that despite millions of pounds of investment into highway lighting to reduce energy, the problem of an ageing lighting lamppost inventory across the UK has not been addressed.” 

She continued, “Research that we have compiled from extensive structural testing programmes suggests that some 3.5% of current lampposts are at significant risk of collapse, with another 37% predicted to move into this ‘red’ category over the next few years.“

The full text of the letter can be found below: 

 

Dear Mr Grayling

Road to Zero Strategy

I read with great interest the announcement by your Department today of the Road to Zero Strategy. The Institution I represent, the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP) has long advocated the need to ‘future-proof’ UK infrastructure to ensure a cleaner, healthier environment and therefore welcome the strategy as an important step forward.

The ILP is the professional body for lighting designers, engineers and asset managers in the UK. The Highway lighting infrastructure, including lighting columns, play a key role in sustainable urban design. The Institution works closely with local authorities and other groups to disseminate good practice around lighting column design, installation and maintenance. We do this by delivering education and training and, by publishing guidance notes that are recognised as the leading documents in this field and widely accepted as best practice documentation.

We have been concerned for some time that pressure on local government budgets has led to investment in energy saving initiatives but a lack of investment in new highway lighting Infrastructure. This has created the position that despite millions of pounds of investment into highway lighting to reduce energy, the problem of an ageing lighting column inventory across the UK has not been addressed. Research that we have compiled from extensive structural testing programmes suggests that some 3.5% of current columns are at significant risk of collapse, with another 37% predicted to move into this ‘red’ category over the next few years. 

For the Department’s Road to Zero Strategy to be successful, due consideration will need to be given to providing the necessary upturn in investment to ensure highway lighting Infrastructure can safely provide the charging points envisioned. I offer the support of the Institution in helping your Department further develop it’s thinking in this area.

Yours sincerely

Tracey White

CEO, Institution of Lighting Professionals


UPDATE: At regional government level, the Mayor of London has launched a new task force to expand electric vehicle infrastructure, which the ILP has offered support for.