Hertfordshire street light switch off: Call for more flexibility

PUBLISHED: 15:00 12 October 2013

Cllr Malcolm Cowan

Cllr Malcolm Cowan

Archant

Critics have called on County Hall to modify its policy of turning off street lights at midnight.

At a meeting reviewing it last Tuesday, officials faced calls for flexibility, depending on local circumstances.

Welwyn Garden City Lib Dem councillor Malcolm Cowan told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “Almost all the councillors present spoke of the need for local flexibility, because of the variation in circumstances across the county.

“For example, most of the rail stations have trains arriving until about 2am, and a midnight switch-off makes walking home very difficult, given the footpath faults and overhanging vegetation amongst other things.

“We are realistic enough to accept that finance means we are not going to go back to all lights on all night.

“What we want is to tailor the scheme, including maybe allowing councillors to use some of their existing highways locality budget to meet the cost.”

Main roads outside towns have been exempted from the policy, but critics suggested these lights could be safely turned off after midnight, with the money saved used to light some residential roads.

Conservative councillor Tony Douris, cabinet member for roads, told the WHT he could not comment until officers had produced a report based on the committee’s recommendations, but promised to consider them with an open mind.


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