Today, solar-powered lighting solutions are providing a cost-effective route for local authorities to enhance safety and accessibility along previously unlit paths.

Originally designated the Prittle Brook Greenway after its refurbishment during 2010-2012, this 5.7km route serves as a vital traffic-free connection for cyclists and pedestrians in Southend-on-Sea. Linking urban areas to Woodlands Park in Hadleigh, it offers access to Priory Park, local schools, the hospital, and residential zones. Despite its significance, safety concerns hindered nighttime usage, with 50 percent of residents avoiding the path after dark due to worries about anti-social behaviour. Responding to community feedback, the Southend-on-Sea City Council allocated £225,000 to install lighting along the greenway.

The project was entrusted to the family-run independent business Marwood Lighting Solutions. To enhance safety along the rural Prittle Brook Greenway, the company sought an energy-efficient, off-grid lighting solution with integrated smart controls.

Marwood Lighting Engineers visited Southend on Sea to survey the 3.5Km of Prittle Brook Greenway between Eastwood Road and Victoria Avenue. This was to ensure that the Defender Solar powered lanterns could illuminate the pathway to BS5489-1:2020 and to review any specific site constraints that would need to be considered for the design proposal.

Marwood’s lighting design team produced plots to determine the optimum spacing between the lanterns and to satisfy Southend on Sea City Council that light spill would be carefully controlled. 6m Raise and lower columns were selected to ensure the scheme could be easily maintained in the future as the site does not allow for vehicle access.

120 Defender solar-powered lanterns were installed in the positions indicated by the lighting design by Southend’s nominated contractor in a phased programme which Marwood Lighting Solutions supported, stocking the materials and delivering in batches to suit the project roll out over several months. The solution provides a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists, particularly during evening hours.

Cllr Meg Davidson, former cabinet member for environment, commented, “The Prittle Brook Greenway is a beloved path for walkers and cyclists in our city, but it’s clear some folks avoid it after dark due to safety concerns.

The new lights are solar-powered, so they do not need electricity and are smart too. They turn on when someone uses the path and dim down when they’re not needed, being solar powered it saves energy and money.”

David Player, Sales Director at Marwood Lighting Solutions commented, “The solar-powered Defender luminaires we selected for the Prittle Brook project are known to be performing well on many UK projects already, making them the perfect fit for this project as there was no power supply to the area which was in need of lighting. Marwood partner with the very best lighting brands globally, and our extensive collaborations enable us to deliver optimal outcomes for our clients.

The installation has significantly enhanced safety and accessibility for residents of Southend-on-Sea. By combining energy-efficient technology with smart controls, the project demonstrates a commitment to both sustainability and community welfare”.


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June 2024 issue

2024 A1 Buyers Guide