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Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
100m city lights project begins
Orange street lamp
The orange light should soon be a thing of the past
Work has started on a 100m scheme to replace 80% of Leeds' street lights over the next five years.

The operation is claimed to be the UK's biggest street lighting project and the council says it will do away with night-time light pollution.

The replacement lighting will abolish the orange glow which hangs over the city and replace it with more environmentally-friendly white light.

The new lights will also use 20% less electricity, the council says.

89,000 street lights
30,000 lit bollards and signs
Electricity bill 1.9m pa
Maintenance costs 1.6 pa
Each resident pays 1.66 pa
Vandalism and accident damage cost 0.4m pa

Astronomers and environmentalists have been campaiging countrywide for orange lights to be replaced.

They say they can be seen from space and at the same time prevent people on earth from seeing the night sky.

Dr Melvin Hoare, an astronomer at Leeds University, said fantastic views of the stars and the Milky Way were being missed because of the orange lighting.

Councillor Steve Smith of Leeds City Council said there should also be a reduction in night-time road accidents on the city because of the improved visibility the new lights would bring.

Lighting is still in the Dark Age
17 Aug 06 |  Science/Nature

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