Mallon highlights how innovation is making DfI more sustainable | Newry Times

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Monday, August 2nd, 2021

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has outlined how the use of green design in the delivery of road signage and street lighting is improving energy efficiency across her Department as part of the fight against the climate crisis.


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Improvements in technology and materials used in the deployment of signs and traffic signalling technologies on the road network across Northern Ireland are part of the changes taking place.



The Department is also using more energy-efficient street lighting systems.  

Minister Mallon says, “I am committed to delivering sustainable infrastructure that will transform communities and improve lives. 

“From day one I have emphasised the need for environmental sustainability by using an electric vehicle as my Ministerial car and I have continued to move forward with my green agenda.  

“Tackling the climate emergency should be a priority for all of us.


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“So I am delighted that my Department is continuing to take steps to be more sustainable in how it operates in order to lessen the impact on the environment. 

“We are increasingly using sign and traffic signal materials made from non-metal composites often manufactured from recycled materials and have changed 112,000 sodium streetlights to more energy-efficient LED units. 

“This has resulted in a reduction of approximately 24% in energy usage in addition to reduced ongoing maintenance costs. 



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“Furthermore all of the electricity used to power the Department’s street lights and traffic signal equipment is now generated from 100% renewable sources.”

Continuing the Minister says, “This use of technology to reduce carbon and energy output can also be seen in other areas of the Department.


“Signs and traffic signals are used only when necessary to reduce the use of materials.

“When new traffic signals are required or when upgrading existing signal installations the Department has now transitioned to using LED traffic signals.


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“This use of LEDs produces more than 75% power and carbon savings compared to traditional lamps and also brings reduced maintenance costs resulting in net carbon benefits for the environment.

“All of the Department’s modern traffic controllers also now use Extra Low Voltage, resulting in power savings of 60% as well as significant safety benefits.

“We are also trialling a new ‘intelligent’ traffic signal system to greatly reduce the amount of cabling required.

“This could result in an overall 85% reduction in the use of copper cables saving on the use of raw materials.



“These innovations in how the Department uses the latest technology and materials for street lighting and traffic signalling are small but important steps in helping to tackle the climate crisis and contributing to better health outcomes for our citizens.

She adds, “I am delighted my Department is taking the right steps towards more sustainable ways of working and leading by example.”


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