BRADFORD will soon get hi-tech streetlights that are able to read air pollution and road temperatures.

Bradford Council’s £45 million street light replacement programme will see 59,000 lights and 17,000 lamp posts replaced over the coming year.

Costing £45 million, the scheme will be paid for through loans, and are expected to save the taxpayer £189 million over the next 50 years, as well as drastically reducing energy consumption.

The scheme, approved by Council bosses last year, took a step forward this week when the Council appointed Costain as its strategic delivery partner as part of a £2m contract.

The project will reduce the Council’s street lighting power consumption by 65 per cent and its carbon emissions by over 6,000 tonnes per year.

The new lights will use Internet of Things technology – which can be used to connect a wide range of sensors to help the Council better manage local infrastructure such as measuring road temperatures, air pollution, gullies or river levels so that maintenance and investment can be more efficiently targeted.

Costain will work with the Council to find ways to expand this technology to other areas of its work.

Across the country Councils are upgrading to LED lighting as traditional street lights become redundant. Many of the companies that produce bulbs for old style street lights have halted production in recent years.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “Bradford’s Smart Street Lighting programme represents a major investment in one of the biggest assets of the Council – our 59,000 street lighting columns.

“The ability to ensure effective delivery of the contract was paramount in Bradford’s approach to seeking a delivery partner with the skills, knowledge and ability to drive both the financial savings and the associated positive contribution to our CO2 emissions which are key outputs over the next five years.

“The appointment of Costain to the strategic delivery partner role has given Bradford the confidence that we have the right people helping us achieve these outcomes based on our experience of their involvement in our programmes of transport investment in the district.“

Sue Kershaw, Transportation managing director, Costain, said: “In these unprecedented times, where Covid-19 has brought much of the economy to a standstill, local authorities are under huge pressure to continue delivery of critical programmes of work for their communities. Our relationship with Bradford Council, which focuses on partnership and outcomes, has allowed us to reach back into our organisation to deliver additional capacity, capability, resilience and flexibility in a range of areas to support our client and keep the transport infrastructure services working.”

Last January the Council declared a climate emergency and is committed to being part of a carbon neutral city region by 2038.

It announced in January 2020 that it is investing an extra £1m revenue funding over the next year as part of £25m of new investments to tackle climate change across the district.