Street lights to be turned off in money-saving scheme

MONEY saving schemes piloted in Uttlesford is set to be rolled out across Essex.

To save money and reduce carbon emissions and light pollution, Essex County Council will be turning off some of our street lights at night – this is called part night street lighting. This will involve some lights being switched off for five hours over night, between 12am and 5am.

The scheme has been running in Uttlesford and Maldon since early 2007. Street lights are switched off, with some exceptions such as town centres, key road junctions and accident cluster sites.

Since the pilot scheme began there has been no increase in recorded crime or road collisions in the two districts. The pilot has also delivered energy savings of 20 per cent - approximately �70,000 per year.

The part night street light operation will be rolled out across Essex starting this year. New devices are being installed to all county council owned street lights so they can be controlled remotely, from a central location.

The council has stressed that not all lights will be switched off.

A spokesman said: “We will carry out consultation with district and borough councils, town and parish councils and the emergency services before any decision is taken on which street lights will be switch to part night.

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“They will also have the opportunity to make any requests for areas that should be excluded from the scheme. The consultations will take place on a phased, district-by-district basis. The first district to be consulted is Braintree, followed by Chelmsford.”

It is anticipated that 70% of street lights in Essex will move to part night lighting.