STREET lights could soon be switched off in Scarborough overnight if cost-cutting plans are backed.
People in Scarborough are being invited to take part in public talks about proposals for reducing the amount of energy used for street lighting which would see lights switched off between midnight and 5am.
The consultation covers the Newby, Northstead, North Bay, Castle, Central, Ramshill, Weaponess, Eastfield, Falsgrave Park, Stepney and Woodlands wards of the town, which have been circulated with leaflets explaining the proposals. Residents can respond online, by post, or by phone.
The proposals are part of North Yorkshire County Council’s plans for reducing the county’s £1.7m street lighting and signing energy bill by almost £400,000. Council bosses say the move is also aimed at producing a 3,000 tonne - 27 per cent - reduction in North Yorkshire’s street lighting carbon footprint by the end of the 2015/16 financial year.
A full review of all 49,000 County Council-owned street lights is under way to determine the appropriateness of switching them off for part of the night.
It is hoped the reduction in Scarborough could be introduced in November. If the proposals are approved, lights will be turned off between midnight and 5am.
The council is one of a number local authorities pushing ahead with schemes at a time of budget cuts. Opponents claim switching off lights could increase the fear of crime and put road safety at risk.
However, last night North Yorkshire County Council said no lights will be turned off in areas where road safety or crime is an issue.
“This is an excellent scheme which will benefit the council taxpayer through reductions in electricity costs and carbon tax,” said County Coun Gareth Dadd, executive member for highways and planning services.
“It has cross-party support on the county council and all councillors as well as the emergency services are being consulted on a detailed basis.”
He added: “It is important that the police and local councillors are involved in the assessment process to ensure that only non-essential street lights are removed or switched off for part of the night.”
The consultation began last week, and residents have until November 19 to make their views known.