THOUSANDS of street lights across Hampshire are to be replaced in a bid to tackle pollution and save hundreds of thousands of pounds.

County bosses will replace 12,000 high-power lamps with more energy efficient LEDs as part of a £3.2m investment.

The move will allow Hampshire County Council to save money without further dimming or extension of part-night lighting which was initially proposed as part of the measures aimed at saving £80m by 2021 .

It is estimated replacing high-power street lights with low energy LEDs would deliver the council’s £500,000 saving target in full, a document revealed.

County bosses have also described the move as the “best way to reduce energy consumption at this time”. In an official document the county council said: “With over 150,000 lighting units in Hampshire, street lighting is a major contributor to the county council’s energy consumption and is an indirect generator of carbon emissions. In order to reduce energy consumption, the county council is proposing to replace high-powered street lighting with low energy LED lanterns on principal roads. There are approximately 32,400 high-powered street lighting units on principal roads in Hampshire. This project is prioritising the replacement of a smaller number (12,000 approx.) of the most high-powered street lighting units.”

The locations of the lights that will be replaced has not been disclosed.

The move was approved by councillor Rob Humby, executive member for economy, transport and environment at the county council during a meeting on Tuesday. He said the authority will start replacing the highest powered first.

He added: “Then there would be an opportunity to look at the rest of the network and we will investigate if there are other funding opportunities.”

He said it is possible that in the future all the street lights in Hampshire could be replaced with LEDs. The £3.2million to replace the first 12,000 lights will come from the departmental Cost of Change reserve.