Upper Bann MLA Jo-Anne Dobson has welcomed a local pilot scheme after it was announced around 20,000 LED street lights would be installed in the area.
The lights will be installed over the next eight months in Banbridge and Craigavon and represent a major step forward in energy saving LED street lighting across Northern Ireland.
Jo-Anne Dobson MLA said: “This is a major investment for the local area and I congratulate Minister Kennedy on bringing it forward to the benefit of people in Banbridge.
“Converting to new LED street lighting has delivered major benefits in other countries, helping to improve road visibility leading to safer journeys and also reducing the ongoing cost of lighting our roads at night.
“I very much welcome this announcement as it brings with it a significant investment in the local roads network in the town as well as delivering greater efficiency and immediate cost savings.”
Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy explained how this scheme is a continuation of the installation of LED lighting across the country.
Mr Kennedy said: “In these financially challenging times, it is important that every effort is made to make savings and reduce costs without impacting on the public.
“Street lighting energy and maintenance costs are very significant, costing in excess of £13 million every year for my Department. Over the last number of years, small pockets of LED street lighting have been introduced across Northern Ireland.”
There are considerable savings to be made in energy and maintenance costs from LED lighting.
The LED units last longer and they consume less energy than conventional lanterns.
Continuing, the Minister said: “Whilst relatively large sums of capital investment are required initially, immediate returns on running costs are achieved with a pay back on the investment expected after eight years.
“Whilst my resource budget has been reduced, I have decided that we must not lose this opportunity to start introducing LED lights on a wider scale to achieve the future cost savings they will bring.
“The LED street light pilot project across Banbridge and Craigavon areas aims to replace around 20,000 existing lights.
“This is a very significant investment and, as my budget permits, I will continue to introduce similar schemes across Northern Ireland.”