Solar ground lights allow year round use of running route on Redcar sea front
The ‘Pink Path’ is a favoured route along the sea front in Redcar for both walkers and runners alike. However, come nightfall the lack of street lighting makes the area difficult and dangerous to navigate. For the New Marske Harriers running club, the Pink Path forms part of their 5km circuit on which they hold evening races, when light permits.
The 1.3km long and 5m wide path is also part of the sea wall defence and so is constructed of reinforced concrete. Traditional lighting would require installation of an electricity supply, which would be invasive, expensive and beyond what was required.
Chair of New Marske Harriers running club, Graham Hall, came across Solareye80 solar powered ground lights at a running track in Sowerby, North Yorkshire and believed this type of environmentally friendly wayfinding marker was the ideal solution for the Pink Path.
The project wasn’t without its challenges as there was no statutory obligation for Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council to illuminate the path, so whilst the Council were prepared to contribute towards the project, the remaining funding would need to be secured by the running club.
Additionally, the Council and funders were new to this type of technology, meaning they would need convincing that a relatively low cost lighting solution was both capable of doing the job and robust enough to withstand the harsh coastal environment.
New Marske Harriers embarked upon a near two year process to persuade the Council and funders that the installation of solar ground lighting on the Pink Path would encourage people within and outside of the running club to take part in active travel and healthy exercise.
Various alternative wayfinding products were considered but stakeholders agreed that Solareye80 solar ground lights; constructed of durable engineering grade polymer, compression tested to 55 tonnes and certified IP68 dust and water proof, were the most suitable product for the demanding sea front location.
290 Solareye80s were installed 4.5m apart forming a zig-zag pattern with a red light every 100m to aid runners wishing to do interval training.
New Marske Harriers secured funding for the project from England Athletics and Sofia windfarm, as well as through Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.
The Solareye80s have made a previously difficult space to navigate after dark, totally usable. As a result, footfall on the path has increased – both runners and walkers are taking advantage, and quite a few canine friends are also benefiting.
Redcar is a topographically unique seaside town in that it is flat. This makes it a desirable location for people with mobility challenges. By carrying out this project the Council have made another progressive step towards total inclusivity.
New Marske Harriers have received significant feedback on social media platforms, all of which is universally positive. They intend to use this positive feedback as a case to carry out phase two of their aspirations; to extend the solar ground lighting along an unlit pavement alongside the main road between Redcar and neighbouring village, Marske.
A word from the customer
“The project has been a great success measured against the unanimously positive feedback on social media and an increase in use of the path since installation of the Solareye80 solar ground lights.“
Andrew Pearson, Income and Funding Officer, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council
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