CARLISLE council chiefs plan to replace the city’s footway lights with energy-saving bulbs to cut costs and help the environment.

The scheme set out in the authority’s budget – still to be formally adopted by the full council – would see the LED lights installed across the district exclusively in those areas where people walk.

The capital project would generate a saving of £26,000 for the council, later increasing to £46,000 following the full roll-out of the scheme.

Council finance chiefs have calculated that the lights would effectively pay for themselves over the next five years.

Darren Crossley, the authority’s deputy chief executive, said: “This is, in effect, our city engineer saying that there’s a good opportunity to replace those sodium lamps with LEDs.

“It would be an opportunity to do two things: reduce the consumption of energy which is useful in relation to environmental sustainability and climate change issues; and save us some money.”

A recent meeting of the city authority’s Health and Wellbeing board heard that there was a “general misunderstanding” about who was responsible for different areas of lighting.

Mr Crossley also stressed that the city council had not taken responsibility for works that previously fell to the county council.

“We have responsibility for a significant number of footway lights, and they have always been our lights to maintain, manage and replace,” he added.

Meanwhile, the responsibility of street-lighting for roads used by vehicles falls to the county council’s highways department.

And speaking earlier this month, leading county councillor Celia Tibble revealed that she has been inundated with complaints about the energy-saving streetlights introduced across Cumbria this year.

The county council is also seeking to change all its lighting to LEDs by the end of 2021 as part of a move to save money, slash energy consumption and reduce light pollution.

The controversial £5.3m countywide improvement scheme will help the council save more than £1m a year – saving enough electricity to power a small town. But Celia Tibble, the cabinet member for environment, revealed that she regularly received emails complaining that the dimmer lights were “dangerous” and made it difficult to see.