Live Labs 2

Live Labs 2 is a three-year, £30 million, UK-wide programme funded by the Department for Transport that will run until March 2026, with a five-year subsequent, extended monitoring and evaluation period. Live Labs 2 concentrates on local highways infrastructure and assets.

DfE and LiveLabs logos

What is Live Labs 2?

Council wins £3.3m for pilot scheme to transform the UK’s street lights to reduce carbon footprint and save millions

The council has won a share of £3.3m from the Government after bidding on a £30m fund aimed at cutting the carbon footprint of the UK’s street lights and saving millions of pounds of public money.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s innovative project plans to research and implement measures to decarbonise the country’s street lights and introduce the next generation of road signs, road markings, and cat’s eyes, able to glow brighter in vehicle headlights.

Currently, the UK's 7.2 million street lights cost £3.5 billion a year – including £1 billlon in energy costs.

They produce one million tonnes of carbon emissions, contributing to climate change.

In the first project of its kind in the UK, the council plans to carry out studies into the way roads are lit, and then use the data it gathers to inform other authorities across the country in order to drive change and create a new standard in street lighting for the future.

Trials are to be carried out along two of the East Riding’s busiest roads - the 31 mile stretch of the A1079 Hull to York corridor and the A164, which include the full range of speed limits, from 20mph to 70mph.

For the pilot scheme, the council has partnered with other authorities including Hull City Council, City of York Council, five further councils in England, and others in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

And it has already teamed up with Sheffield University, the Institute of Lighting Professionals and lighting companies together work to discover new, innovative and alternative products.

The scheme aims to explore more efficient uses and layouts for street lights, road signs and road markings. One product being considered is the introduction of solar-powered road studs, which shine much brighter than traditional cat’s eyes.

Councillor Jonathan Owen, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “This work is not only massively innovative – it will be the only such work of its kind in the UK – so the East Riding is leading the way.

“This will be the country’s first ever major review of street lighting, and how people perceive and appreciate different types of lights and differing levels.

“Britain's current road signs regulations were brought in in the 1960s, so it is high time they were reviewed and improved.

“Through this pilot scheme, we want to achieve major change and massively reduce energy consumption, and by doing that develop new guidelines to be adopted by local authorities nationally.”

East Riding of Yorkshire Council has 40,000 streetlights and 2,300 illuminated signs. So far 75% have been converted to lower-energy LED lighting.

It still costs the council £1.84m in electricity, and £850,000 in column maintenance, each year.

Where can I get more information about this project?

Please take a look at the press office releases of DfT and Adept if you need more information about Live Labs 2:

Stay connected

Sign up for the latest news and updates from East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

We will use GovDelivery to send you emails, it is secure and you can choose to stop receiving emails at any time. Find out more in our Privacy notice.