Case Study | Cambridge City Council

Published 9:41am November 2 2018

All year-round use for Cambridge cycle path thanks to environmentally friendly solar lighting.

With bike-friendly city planning, cycle schemes and charity cycle campaigns it’s not surprising that the city of Cambridge is a hub for cycling.

What is more, the city attracts one in three residents opting to choose the pollution-free method of transport to work (Cambridge City Council, 2018)¹.

Coe Fen is a shared footpath in the east of the city and a key off-road cycling commuter route into the centre of the city. Designated as a city wildlife site in 1996, Coe Fen is home to many bat species including Common Pipistrelle,
Soprano Pipistrelle, Daubenton’s; Noctule, Serotine; Brown long-eared bats.

Cambridge City Council contacted Lakeside Group Ltd with the aim of improving wayfinding light for pedestrians and cyclists on Coe Fen.

Over a hundred environmentally low cost solar-powered studs were installed across Coe Fen on the pathway.

The Challenge

The schemes purpose was to improve facilities for cyclists and pedestrians on Coe Fen public right of way. The need for wayfinding light whilst providing delineation for public safety and increasing usability had been recognised.

Sadly, UK bat populations have declined substantially over the last century (Bat Conservation Trust, 2018)².

So, considering the presence of bats and other nocturnal animals’ any disturbance of the historic, unique and natural landscape was required to have a strong justification particularly as there are several interest groups and individuals who make
every effort to ensure the natural environs are protected in Cambridge.
Cambridge City Council therefore needed to ensure that the measures to improve cycling commuter route infrastructure safety and wayfinding were sensitive to the environmental circumstances of the city.
The solareye®80 product was chosen as the solution as it avoids high levels of light spill that could affect nocturnal animals, whilst providing a low cost renewably sourced level of light for the commuter shared use footpath through Coe Fen.

The Solution

Cambridge City Council worked with Lakeside Group to install more than one hundred environmentally friendly solar stud lights across a stretch of public right of way, measuring approximately 900 metres.

solareye®80 is an energy efficient solar stud, helping to aid safety requirements by providing 360° visibility that is strong enough to provide wayfinding light along cycle tracks and pedestrian footpaths at night.

The solar stud has been aesthetically designed in the UK, it is constructed from a robust engineering grade polymer built to last at least 8 years. Pedestrians and cyclists can move over the durable light stud with ease with no impact to the light source.

Efforts were made to ensure that the lighting does not disturb the bats unduly for example by leaving a dark area across the River Cam one of the main bat feeding corridors. Each solar stud was fitted with a ‘bat hat’ designed to reduce the upward light spillage, reducing further potential impact on wildlife.

The Benefits

Illuminating Coe Fen has helped pave the way for cyclists and pedestrians whilst reducing public safety concerns. Installing the solar studs has opened the path for year-round use thereby helping to encourage more people to use the public right of way at night.

“Due to the success of the installed stud lighting through Coe Fen; solar stud lighting with bat hat protection has become the method with greatest community backing for schemes in similar environments across the city.

As a consequence of the Coe Fen project a further 250m of solar lighting has now been extended along the route bringing the length of wayfinding lighting along this route to well-over 1km.”

Officer working for Cambridge City Council

Want to find out more?

Full brief can be downloaded here

If you have an area that requires night time delineation, installation of the solareye®80 is:

  • Quick and cost effective with minimal disruption
  • Easy to maintain
  • Suitable for areas off the national grid
  • CE accredited, IP68 and IK10 certified
  • Environmentally Friendly

Want to discuss a project in more detail?

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