STREETLIGHTS across Bournemouth are being fitted with LED technology to reduce energy costs.

So far some 3,000 replacements have taken place in Muscliff, Moordown and Bear Cross, and the work continues at a rate of around 500 new lanterns a week. There are 16,000 to be replaced across the town.

Illuminated bollards around the town are also having their bulbs replaced with LEDs.

Bournemouth Council claims the switch will save around 73 per cent of its annual energy costs.

“We are delighted with how well the first few weeks have gone rolling out the bollards and now also with the first of the new energy efficient street light lanterns,” said councillor Michael Filer, cabinet member for transport.

“The benefits are huge, not just financially as we’re already seeing a reduction in our energy costs, but also environmentally and aesthetically.”

He said the LEDs’ “cleaner, crisper light” would help to reduce the “perception” of crime and antisocial behaviour.

“In addition we are starting on repainting many of our lamp posts as part of our Smart Streets programme of improvements so the town will really look at its best,” he added.

Work to install the lanterns will be conducted outside of peak hours in areas where traffic management is required, and in some areas short term road closures will be required.

A council spokesman said they would use such cases as opportunities to carry out general road maintenance including pothole repairs, refreshing road markings and cleaning gullies.

The £7.7 million LED scheme has been funded with the aid of Salix Finance, a publically-funded company which provides interest-free loans to the public sector for energy efficiency projects. Salix has provided a £4.2 million loan for Bournemouth Council.