Money saved on lights to help Market Drayton community
Councillors will investigate using thousands of pounds in savings from new LED street lighting to provide better public transport links.
Tuesday saw Market Drayton Town Council starting the use of its new LED lights – estimated to save around £60,000 over the coming 18 months.
Councillor Mark Whittle, former mayor and current chairman of the council's community and governance committee, has said that they will now look at how some of the funding could be reinvested to benefit the town.
He said: "The savings we make from them, it is not money that will be sent back to Shropshire Council, because it is our money.
"That means it gives us extra money to direct into community projects and the community of Market Drayton."
Councillor Whittle said that one of the ideas to be examined over the coming weeks will be the possibility of providing improved public transport – potentially through the use of smaller buses, because of the difficulties larger ones have in accessing some new-build housing estates.
He said: "There are projects we are looking at right now and one of the major ones is transportation in the town.
"With new builds and new estates going up, these are not large enough for the normal type of service available.
"It is not to say 'yes, we are going to do it' but we know the problems on these estates with the elderly who cannot get into town. The normal buses are too large to get round so now we are looking at alternative modes of transport to help the people in the town.
"They pay their tax and we as a council have to look at what we can do for them."
Councillor Whittle said that any extra bus service would also help reduce pressure on parking in Market Drayton.
He said: "The other side is it would alleviate parking issues in the town."
Councillor Whittle also explained how the new lighting would provide a long-term benefit to the town – both financially, ecologically, and through its performance.
He said: "It is a long term investment and we have got guarantees on these lights for a long time. It also means we do not have to cut our lights off at 10 in the evening like some some other places, because these things cost a fraction of what conventional lighting costs.
"They are also very green."