Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

Thousands of Suffolk street lights to be switched off

PUBLISHED: 14:58 06 October 2010

Street lights across Suffolk are to be switched off

Street lights across Suffolk are to be switched off

Archant

SUFFOLK is set to become a duller place at night as thousands of street lights are switched off during the early hours each day.

The move is being proposed by the cash-strapped county council as a way of cutting costs and boosting claims that Suffolk is the greenest place in Britain.

Next week’s meeting of the council’s cabinet will be asked to accept a proposal to replace existing county council-owned street lights with those run under an “intelligent lighting system.”

This would see most lights on poles of six metres and below switched off between midnight and 5.30am.

Lights on poles higher than this would be dimmed to 80% of power between 9pm and midnight every day and to 60% of power between midnight and 5am.

Some areas would be exempt from the changes – especially where there are safety concerns.

There are to be further studies at areas such as busy junctions, bus stops, level crossings, or in areas where there are concerns about high crime rates.

Installing the “intelligent lighting system” would cost the council an extra £2.5 million which would be funded by a special loan.

Taking the repayments of this loan into account the changes should save the council £390,000 a year – rising to £490,000 if electricity costs increase as significantly as is currently predicted.

County councillor with responsibility for transport Guy McGregor said the changes had been discussed with the police and would only be brought in if they did not impact on public safety.

He said: “We need to reduce costs and this is a good saving to make, both from the financial point of view and saving energy.

“We shall not reduce any lighting unless we are sure it will be safe to do so – and we are talking to the police on this.

“But I am sure there will be parts of the county where people will be pleased to have more dark nights.

“There is some evidence that in some places switching off street lights deters crime because if youngsters cannot see to gather at night they just drift away home out of harm’s way.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Inga Lockington said in some areas there was confusion about who was responsible for street lights.

“I know that in some streets in Ipswich it is the responsibility of the borough in others it is a county matter, and that is the case with districts and parishes all over the county.

“I think this needs to be examined very, very closely before any final decision is made,” she said.

And Labour group leader Sandy Martin was also cautious.

“If you find all the street lights turned off in an area that would be very worrying. We would oppose that. But if, as in some places, they are talking about switching off every other light during the early hours that might well be reasonable.

“It is something that needs to be considered carefully before any final decision is made.”

Light facts:

The county council owns 55,000 street lights in the county (40,000 are more than six metres high).

Parish, district, and borough councils own a further 11,250 lights.

The proposed changes will reduce CO2 production by 4,150 tonnes by April 2013.

11 comments

  • Excellent news. Perhaps they could start with the many lights on the A12 approach to the Capel and Bently turn. It looks like a runway landing strip.

    Report this comment

    Ella

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

  • In Felixstowe thousands of multicoloured lights along the prom stay on all year! Most resorts have a limited season for these lights. Also these decorative lights stay on until 1 a.m. and one section stays on all night - I have been reporting this to the Council for a year now and nothing gets done. So much for Suffolk being the greenest County while you and I are berated if you don't turn off the standby on your telly or computer!

    Report this comment

    Trevo

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

  • At last we regain our night sky and we save money! For so long, even in semi rural locations, the glory of the night sky has been obliterated by the dreadful back scatter of sodium street lighting.

    Report this comment

    sid

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

  • Street lights went off at 11pm back in the 60s70s I could never understand the need to have them burning all night long. How nice it will be to see the night sky again that has for so long been obscured by light pollution.

    Report this comment

    bobby55

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

  • In Felixstowe thousands of multicoloured lights along the prom stay on all year! Most resorts have a limited season for these lights. Also these decorative lights stay on until 1 a.m. and one section stays on all night - I have been reporting this to the Council for a year now and nothing gets done. So much for Suffolk being the greenest County while you and I are berated if you don't turn off the standby on your telly or computer!

    Report this comment

    Trevo

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

  • Are some of the'fat cats' at County Hall going to be cut too. Surely that's a better way to save tax payers money. However less light has to be better for the environment.

    Report this comment

    Ray Fairweather

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

  • At last! A money saving idea which is a no-brainer. Why are lights left on throughout the night? The sooner the better. Recently a new access road was built behind my house with ridiculously sized street lights left on all night (with virtually no traffic) - BABERGH TOOK THE STARS AWAY!! exclaimed my kids when they were switched on. Don't let the security lobby scare people with their sel interest - lets do it.

    Report this comment

    Red Robbo

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

  • Lovely, now if all the closed shops and businesses could just do the same it would be great, why there aren't more security style lights that only come on when intruders come close I shall never know.

    Report this comment

    C Smith

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

  • The criminals will be rubbing their hands in glee, it will be like winning the lottery. But never mind, pc plod is happy about it but probably he's tucked up in bed anyway!

    Report this comment

    ged scott

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

  • Go green and switch them off. Won't make any difference to me as there are no street lights in my road anyway! Will save SCC a bit towards Andrea Hill's next pay rise.

    Report this comment

    Lynda Bennett

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

  • This is, in my view, a very sensible move and one which should have been carried out regardless of the need to save money. There are a few places I'd want to see lit through the night but the vast majority of street lights are just uselessly burning energy for much of the time.

    Report this comment

    PC Plod

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A 35-year-old man has been charged following an armed robbery at a business premises in Stowmarket.

Police are appealing for witnesses following a burglary at a business premises in Felixstowe.

A missing 15-year-old boy with links to Melton and Combs, near Stowmarket, has been found safe and well.

An academy trust which runs three schools in Suffolk and one in Essex has denied allegations it is under threat of bankruptcy, and insists its schools are safe following a damning government report into the state of its finances.

A new Timpson pod could soon be opening outside the Tesco supermarket in Bury St Edmunds.

Sanctuary Personnel, of Ipswich, has been appointed by the Department of Education and the Skills Funding Agency as an official apprenticeship training provider.

Comedian and panel-show regular Ó Briain is among the latest acts to be announced for this year’s Latitude Festival.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24