Poll: Move to switch off footpath lights at midnight set to save £30k a year

Suffolk Coastal District Council is proposing to switch of footway lights at midnight.

Suffolk Coastal District Council is proposing to switch of footway lights at midnight. - Credit: Archant

Footpath lights in 37 communities across east Suffolk are set to be switched off at midnight as part of a project to save £30,000 a year.

Suffolk Coastal council operates 1,737 footway lighting columns which are separate from the county council street lights and are mostly situated on housing estates, alleyways and roads which do not have other forms of lighting.

The majority are in Felixstowe, Martlesham, Trimley St Mary and St Martin, Woodbridge, Melton, Leiston, Knodishall, Aldeburgh, and Rushmere St Andrew, with others scattered across smaller communities.

Following the transfer of Suffolk’s street lights to a part-night time operation, the district council is now considering a similar project.

The work will cost £86,000 but bring savings of £30,000 a year.

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The system will mean the lights come on in low light, switch off at midnight and then back on again at 5.30am to dawn, if dawn is not earlier than 5.30am.

In a report to cabinet on Monday, cabinet members Robert Whiting and Andrew Nunn said: “The benefits include the ability to control and monitor the units remotely, providing greater energy efficiency and flexibility of operation.

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“This will enable the lighting to be available when it is most needed and the operator to be notified and respond to any maintenance issues that would have normally only been picked up by reports from third parties or site inspections.

“The outcome being the provision of a more efficient and effective service to the community that represents better value to the public purse.

“The savings will be met by the improved performance in terms of energy efficiency and the reduction in lighting operation when it is not considered to be required.”

It will also mean a 46% cut in CO2 emissions – from 232 tonnes to 107 tonnes per year.

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