Shropshire National Commuter Cycleway

How do you improve on an already well-used cycle route? This was the question posed by Parish Councils – Pontesbury, one of the largest villages in Shropshire, and the village of Minsterley, which is just over a mile further southwest.

Key Project Requirements

    • Off-grid lighting solution
    • Provide minimal light levels off-peak
    • Instant PIR activation when required
    • Provide the required light level to meet BSEN 13201 P5 requirements at 30M spacing 

Both Parish councils wished to encourage the use of the path. To further reduce road journeys between the villages and provide a safer route (popular with workers at the local Muller Factory) for the local residents and parents who needed to feel more confident in their children walking or cycling to and from school. Especially important during the darker winter months.

To support this aim and overcome residents’ safety concerns, Pontesbury and Minsterley Parish Councils secured funding from Shropshire Council to improve the lighting along the cycleway between the two villages.

Following a competitive process, the contract for installation was awarded to Highline Electrical. With no power cable between the two villages, Highline Electrical turned to Acrospire Lighting for an off-grid solar solution.

Kevin Grigg, Sales Director at Acrospire, commented, “For local authorities fighting climate change within their borough, or with tough net zero carbon targets to meet – off-grid solar solutions (such a lighting and illuminated signage) really should be a consideration.”

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Our Solution

After a successful trial, Defender55 was selected to light the cycleway. 32 Defender55 units with an incorporated 32-watt panel and an additional panel of 32 Watts have been installed along the one-mile stretch with spacings of 30M, achieving all the requirements for the P5 standard. 

The solar-powered lanterns provide minimal light levels when the pathway is out of use until the PIR sensors detect the presence of pedestrians. The scheme operates at a dimmed 2 Watts overnight, unless activated, boosting the power to 8 Watts.

Two Sprint Mini functional LED luminaires were donated to replace old SON fittings in between the scheme. 

Cllr Geoff Rogers, Chair of Minsterley Parish Council, commented that he was delighted with the outcome after all the hard work undertaken by all those involved in the project.

As well as improving safety, increased use of the pathway will contribute to the carbon reduction ambitions of both councils; Cllr Duncan Fletcher, Chair of the joint working group, said, “the use of solar lighting was an integral part of achieving a sustainable, cost-effective solution, improving this essential route connecting the villages.”

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