Blackouts in streets planned to cut costs

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STREET lights across different parts of the region are set to be switched off under money-saving measures being considered by local authorities.

Members of Derbyshire County Council will consider proposals to turn off some of the county’s street lights for a few hours each night at a meeting on Tuesday, January 31.

More than two thirds of the 842 people who responded to a public consultation about plans to turn off around 40,000 street lights between midnight and 5.30am said they were in favour of the plans, while 64 per cent said they were alsowere also in favour of permanently switching off around 900 of the county’s 89,000 street lights in rural and non-residential areas.

Introducing both measures would save around £400,000 a year on energy bills and also avoid further charges of up to £220,000 per year from the Government for carbon emissions.

Coun Simon Spencer, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport said: “We need to take action to cut carbon and help reduce the effects of global warming.

“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.

If the proposals were approved, the scheme would be rolled out on an “area by area” basis over three or four years.

Meanwhile, in Worksop, Notts County Council plans to turn off many street lights between midnight and 5.30am in residential areas, dim some on main roads between 10pm and 7am and switch of some entirely in remote areas.

The council says it will not alter lights near hospitals, accident blackspots and areas with higher than average crime rates.

A public consultation on the plans is now underway and runs until Wednesday, February 29.

Coun Richard Jackson said: “Where similar projects have been carried out in other parts of the country, collisions and crime have not increased.”