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Longthorpe footbridge illuminated with innovative 1800K LED technology

National Highways has introduced a new footbridge at Longthorpe in Peterborough, making it easier for cyclists, walkers, and wheelchair users to cross the A47. As part of a wider road improvement scheme, the bridge replaces a previous structure, which was constructed in 1970 and no longer met industry standards. The new 30-metre structure has been designed to be more accessible with shallow access ramps at a 5% gradient.

DW Windsor worked with engineering, management, and development consultants Mott MacDonald to provide lighting for the road, bridge, and ramps. The scheme called for replacement columns on either side of the footbridge, with eight Kirium Pro luminaires providing illumination for both the road and overpass.

To maintain the ambience provided by the original SON lamps along the A47, a special request was made to implement a lighting solution that matched the old light levels and colour temperature. This led to a collaboration with NICHIA, a global leader in LED technology, to implement its 1800K LED lighting – a range of LEDs developed to be an ideal mercury-free alternative to High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps.

The 1800K LEDs from NICHIA match the nostalgic appearance of HPS lamps while offering many key benefits of LEDs, including increased energy efficiency, less glare and greatly improved colour rendering. The LEDs also provide a longer lifetime of operation and less blue-light emissions that help to reduce light pollution. By matching the appearance of the existing road lighting, visual consistency between the original SON lamps and newer LED luminaires has been maintained.

Takashi Onishi, Head of General Lighting Europe at NICHIA, stated, “NICHIA is delighted to partner with DW Windsor to better illuminate the footbridge in Peterborough with our cutting-edge 1800K LED technology. Our LED solutions provide the warmth and comfortable glow of traditional HPS lamps while delivering eco-friendly lighting with greater efficiency. At NICHIA, we’re passionate about pushing the boundaries of LED technology to improve infrastructure projects serving local communities across the world.”

In addition to the road lighting, DW Windsor also supplied its DarkSky Approved Garda handrail to illuminate the ramps up to the footbridge. The bespoke, illuminated handrail system provided a discreet low-level lighting solution for the walkway while also supporting accessibility for users with limited mobility.

Each approach ramp included a single-sided, continuous stainless-steel handrail fitted with 120mm Garda Classic LED modules at 3.6m spacings. The ramps were lit to a P5 lighting class using asymmetric optics and a 3000K colour temperature to deliver uniform lighting across the inclined surfaces.

Alan Grant, Design and Development Director at DW Windsor, commented, “At DW Windsor, we’re committed to protecting wildlife and preserving the night sky. The use of warmer colour temperatures across the scheme supports wider efforts by Peterborough City Council to protect local biodiversity, which was a key challenge of the project. The use of Garda handrail on the ramps further reduces the impact on wildlife by minimising light spill into surrounding areas.”

Clients and partners

Client – National Highways

Engineering – Mott MacDonald