Street lights to stay on one hour longer across Essex

A street light.

A street light. - Credit: Archant

Street lights in Essex will stay on for an hour longer each night, County Hall announced yesterday.

Currently under Essex County Council’s part-night lighting policy street lights go off from midnight until 5am except in town centres and at dangerous road junctions.

But at a cabinet meeting yesterday Rodney Bass, county councillor for highways and transport, announced some “fine tuning” to the scheme designed to benefit the urban economy and commuters.

Instead lights will go off from 1am until 5am, Tuesday to Sunday, and remain the same on the early hours of Monday morning.

Parts of Epping already have the reduced hours in areas close to London Underground stations.

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The change will come into force from Monday March 30, to coincide with the start of British Summer Time.

The scheme is set to save £1.4m per year by the end of the 2014/15 financial year, as well as saving an additional £145,000 in carbon taxes.

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Mr Bass said: “We have taken the decision to change the operating hours of part-night lighting because of the positive impact it will have for the night time economy in our main towns.

“It is important we continue to fine tune part-night lighting based on feedback.

“We are fortunate in Essex that because of our uniquely flexible and controllable lighting system, we are able to do this and so can respond to issues of public perception and concern.

“We remain open to further fine-tuning of the system, and will look again at the timings when we revert back to GMT in the autumn.”

Julie Young, leader of the Labour opposition group which has been pushing for the policy to be reversed in areas backed by local residents, described the move as “a small victory in an ongoing battle”.

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