Street lights could be switched off to save money

STREET lighting in Hertfordshire could be switched off, in a bid to save money and meet carbon reduction targets.

The move is being considered by Hertfordshire County Council’s highways and transport cabinet panel, as it looks to make savings in light of the difficult financial circumstances and the Government’s recent spending review.

With 115,000 street lights in the county and an annual electricity bill of �10m, county councillors are weighing up the impact of switching off lights in areas where there is little or no footfall, and only using part-night lighting in urban areas.

Hertfordshire Highways has agreed to draw up details for councillors to consider by January, and if agreed will be trialled shortly afterwards.

County councillor Stuart Pile, executive member for highways and transport, said: “As well as consulting with the police, we have been researching the impact of switching off street lights in other counties so that we will be well informed about the areas where lighting should be maintained.

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“The panel agreed that part-night lighting – when lights are turned off for certain hours during the night – should be explored, along with turning lights off completely in some areas.”

But the plans have been met with reservations from residents of Codicote, who were faced with a similar proposal in 2008, which ultimately never materialised.

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“We were very much against the plans [in 2008],” said Codicote Parish Council chairman Alex Beazleigh.

“There are dangers to people walking about in the dark.”

For more of this story, see this week’s Welwyn Hatfield Times, out tomorrow (Wednesday)

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