Street lights set to go back on in Nottinghamshire

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE County Council is set to reverse its part-night lighting policy which has seen street lights turned off in some parts of the county.

A report going to the Council’s policy committee on September 18 recommends that street lights be switched back on -- where supported by the local county councillor and chairman of the Transport and Highways committee.

It also proposes the continued introduction of dimming of lights and the use of dimmable LED lights wherever possible.

The County Council spends just over £4.8m each year on energy for street lighting, illuminated road signs, bollards and traffic signals, making up 15% of the total highways revenue budget.

With the on-going rise in energy prices the Council is continuing to implement a programme of street lighting energy-saving measures to help control costs.

Previously, this included part-night lighting in appropriate residential areas and dimming or switching off streetlights, where appropriate, on main roads.

Following concerns raised by residents, the Council is proposing to revise the project to halt the part-night lighting programme – except where local communities specifically request it – to turn lights back on where communities request it and to progress the LED and dimming programmes.

The LED programme has received good support from communities while the dimming of high-powered lanterns – generally over 240 watt and often not in residential areas -- is barely discernible.

The part-night lighting project was launched in October 2010 and there are currently 6,116 streetlights which have been converted to part-night lighting.

The cost of returning them all to full-night lighting will be in the region of £110,000 with a loss of £80,000 a year in energy saving.

The project is still forecast to save £700,000 by 2016/17.

“We have listened to residents’ concerns about the perceived risk of crime and personal safety in some of the areas in which the part-night programme was introduced,” said Coun Kevin Greaves, chairman of the County Council’s transport and highways committee.

“These concerns included some elderly residents who felt more vulnerable without street lighting and those residents working shifts who set off for or returned from work without lighting.

“Fortunately, advances in energy-saving lighting technology over the last three years and viable alternatives to part-night lighting mean that we can now meet the required energy and CO2 savings through dimming and converting lights to dimmable LEDs when they are due for replacement.”

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