By Ian Dipple 15/06 Updated: 15/06 14:30
HUNDREDS of street lights across Alcester and Studley will be switched off at night as part of cost cutting measures.
And Worcestershire County Council is also consulting residents on the idea with a view to following suit.
Warwickshire County Council is proposing to turn about 39,000 street lights off between midnight and 5.30am in a bid to save £500,000 from its annual £2.2million electricity bill. The council also says it will cut carbon emissions by 3,000 tonnes and reduce light pollution.
Although lights will remain on in places such as at roundabouts, traffic light junctions, areas covered by CCTV, near elderly people’s care homes and alleyways, scores of roads will be still be affected in Alcester. Lights will go off in areas such as Arden Road, Birmingham Road, part of Bleachfield Street and Evesham Street while in Studley areas being switched off include Alcester Road and Bromsgrove Road along with part of Abbeyfield Drive. In emergencies police can still request lights are switched back on.
The move has long been talked about but the council has only unveiled the finer details now as it prepares to consult with residents at community forums during the summer. Part-night lighting has been introduced in other areas such as Essex, where crime dropped 14 per cent compared to the previous year.
Coun Peter Butlin, responsible for highways and transport on the council, said: “It is important to note we have been working closely with the police, community safety and road safety teams to ensure the changes are not going to have a negative impact either for road users or in terms of criminal behaviour.
“The scheme has worked well in other parts of the country and rest assured that we will closely monitor traffic accidents and crime levels and review any changes that may need to be made.”
Clive Rickhards, county councillor for Studley, said he had concerns with some of the proposals including turning lights off at the junction of Bromsgrove Road and Littlewood Green but the scale of the cuts the council had to make had to be considered.
“If it comes to a choice between getting rid of children’s centres or turning off some lights at night then I would have to come down on the side of protecting children’s centres but maybe the proposals as they currently stand are over extensive. There’s a case for some junctions to be covered.”
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/partnightlighting to see the plans in details.
IN WORCESTERSHIRE a group of county councillors are carrying out a review into ways they can reduce carbon emissions and cut the authority’s £2million electricity bill for its 52,000 lights and 8,000 illuminated road signs.
Options being explored include following neighbouring Warwickshire by turning certain lights off between midnight and 5.30am, dimming lights at certain times, using more energy efficient lights - such as white light or LEDs - and switching lights off altogether.
The group will also investigate how energy prices and electricity tariffs are agreed and the possible cost implications of reduced lighting.
The council has already invited parish councils across the county to run pilot schemes to test out the impact of reducing street lighting.
But as part of the review residents are being asked to have their say on issues such as whether or not they want street lighting in their area, if they would be willing for existing lights to be turned off or dimmed during the night and what problems may such a move cause.
Anyone who wants to comment should email email@example.com, call 01905 822873 or write to Stella Wood, Legal and Democratic Services, Worcestershire County Council, County Hall, Worcester WR5 2NP. The closing date for comments is Tuesday (June 19).
A WOMAN who has spent more than 40
CREATING a promotional hub and heritage centre for
THE SAVE The Alex campaign has begun and
A SENIOR consultant at the Alexandra Hospital has
BUILDING work has started on new Bromsgrove retail park which ...
A PRISONER who went on the run after being released ...
A TRADER who caused unnecessary suffering to a rabbit he ...