Green light to turn off lamps at night

PROPOSALS to turn off some of Derbyshire’s street lights will be considered next week with almost three quarters of the county’s residents backing the plans.

Derbyshire county councillors will discuss the plans, to turn off around 40,000 street lights between midnight and 5.30am, at a meeting on Tuesday.

More than 820 people responded to a consultation on the scheme, with 69 per cent being in favour. And 64 per cent were also in favour of permanently switching off around 900 of the county’s 89,000 street lights in rural and non-residential areas.

Derbyshire County Council say the move would:

lsave 2,000 tonnes of carbon every year, more than ten per cent of the total produced by the authority’s street lights;

lsave more than £400,000 a year on energy bills and avoid further charges of up to £220,000 per year from the Government for carbon emissions.

Cllr Simon Spencer, county council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We’re committed to cutting our carbon emissions by 25 per cent by 2014/15 and street lighting is one of the main offenders.

“We also need to save £90m over the next four years and with rising energy prices we need to look at ways of doing things differently.”

Under the plans, lights would not be turned off on:

lsome main traffic routes;

lin town centres;

lat locations with a significant night-time accident record between midnight and 5.30am;

lin areas police identify as having an above average record of crime;

lin areas provided with CCTV, local authority or police surveillance equipment;

lin areas with sheltered housing and other residences accommodating vulnerable people;

lin areas with 24-hour operational emergency services sites such as hospitals and nursing homes;

lat formal pedestrian crossings, subways and enclosed footpaths and alleyways where one end links to a road that is lit all night and where road safety measures are in place on the highway, such as roundabouts, central carriageway islands, chicanes or speed humps.

If approved, the scheme will be rolled out across the country on an area by area basis over a three or four year period.Residents would then be able to comment about the plans for their particular area.