17,000 street lights to be switched off across Worcestershire

Droitwich Advertiser: It's getting dark: streets lights to be switched off at night It's getting dark: streets lights to be switched off at night

MORE than 17,000 street lights in Worcestershire are going to be switched off - plunging parts of the county into darkness.

Your Worcester News can reveal how a plan to turn off lights across the county is on the verge of being finalised in a bid to save taxpayers £500,000 a year.

From April workers will start taking out 1,000 lights a month and replace them with special 'timed' dimmers that go out from midnight to 6am.

Worcestershire County Council operates 52,000 lights, but says it wants to switch off two out of every three during those times to save money and help the environment.

The project, which has been two years in the making, would see lights on all main roads, bends and junctions to housing estates kept on.

Some critics have already labelled it "bonkers" but supporters of it say it will save money.

The move, which is expected to be voted through by the Conservative cabinet on Thursday, follows a trial in Droitwich.

Between November 2012 and last May, 72 lights were switched off in the spa town, two out of three, from midnight to 6am.

The county council said it had no complaints or feedback that it led to increased crime or traffic incidents.

Councillor John Smith, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "The feedback in Droitwich was very positive and not only will this save money, it will be better for the environment.

"We've had discussions with the police and we won't be turning them off in any crime hotspots or on junctions leading to estates, or main routes like London Road (in Worcester).

"We think it will be a good scheme."

The cost of installing the dimmers will be £270,000, but the council say it will then save £500,000 yearly.

It is expected to take around 18 months to two years to fully finish, with workers set a target of replacing 1,000 lights a month.

Councillor Peter McDonald, from the opposition Labour group, said: "They're bonkers - without street lighting, especially at that time of night when it is most needed, people will not feel safe.

"These stupid, unsafe proposals could well make our streets unsafe after midnight.

"Nobody in their right mind is going to relish the thought of walking alone along blacked out streets."

But Paul Branston, 61, from Corbett Avenue, Droitwich, said: "I don't think anyone battered an eyelid when they went off here.

"If the main road ones stay on I think I wouldn't be against it."

The council is planning to save £103 million by 2018 to cope with unprecedented cuts in Government funding and pressure on social services.

Comments (26)

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7:40am Tue 4 Feb 14

yeller says...

How lovely for the criminal fraternity for the council to provide more opportunity for them to demonstrate their total lack of morals.

I would personally prefer for example a £10 per month increase on council tax that could be called a lighting surcharge - I don't think this has been offered as an alternative though.
How lovely for the criminal fraternity for the council to provide more opportunity for them to demonstrate their total lack of morals. I would personally prefer for example a £10 per month increase on council tax that could be called a lighting surcharge - I don't think this has been offered as an alternative though. yeller
  • Score: -41

7:44am Tue 4 Feb 14

Westhamoldguy says...

Lets re-name Neighbourhood Watch as Neighbourhood Can't See, are late night workers, especially single females going to feel safe on their walk home? if we have to turn out lights then maybe the other way round, one off two on.
Lets re-name Neighbourhood Watch as Neighbourhood Can't See, are late night workers, especially single females going to feel safe on their walk home? if we have to turn out lights then maybe the other way round, one off two on. Westhamoldguy
  • Score: 11

7:59am Tue 4 Feb 14

pudniw_gib says...

Great...it means the idiots who trash our vehicles on weekend nights wont be able to see what they are doing .....
And we will be able to see the stars.
Great...it means the idiots who trash our vehicles on weekend nights wont be able to see what they are doing ..... And we will be able to see the stars. pudniw_gib
  • Score: 10

8:33am Tue 4 Feb 14

redman14 says...

Great idea, spend money to save money!!!??
Great idea, spend money to save money!!!?? redman14
  • Score: -9

9:29am Tue 4 Feb 14

Guy66 says...

As long as we can bring criminal negligence cases against the council once the local crime rates increase then I'm all for it!
As long as we can bring criminal negligence cases against the council once the local crime rates increase then I'm all for it! Guy66
  • Score: -8

9:36am Tue 4 Feb 14

BadgerMash says...

When I moved to my present address twenty years ago streetlights went off about midnight. No one complained and there were no problems. Not so long ago a length of our streetlights were (presumably due to a fault) permanently off for over eighteen months. No one complained and there were no problems. I'd like to see our streetlights turned off completely and "mothballed" for the foreseeable future - there are far more important things to spend public money on.
When I moved to my present address twenty years ago streetlights went off about midnight. No one complained and there were no problems. Not so long ago a length of our streetlights were (presumably due to a fault) permanently off for over eighteen months. No one complained and there were no problems. I'd like to see our streetlights turned off completely and "mothballed" for the foreseeable future - there are far more important things to spend public money on. BadgerMash
  • Score: 26

10:03am Tue 4 Feb 14

Vagslimer says...

Westhamoldguy wrote:
Lets re-name Neighbourhood Watch as Neighbourhood Can't See, are late night workers, especially single females going to feel safe on their walk home? if we have to turn out lights then maybe the other way round, one off two on.
Hallelujah, I don't have to wear my itchy balaclava anymore.
[quote][p][bold]Westhamoldguy[/bold] wrote: Lets re-name Neighbourhood Watch as Neighbourhood Can't See, are late night workers, especially single females going to feel safe on their walk home? if we have to turn out lights then maybe the other way round, one off two on.[/p][/quote]Hallelujah, I don't have to wear my itchy balaclava anymore. Vagslimer
  • Score: 3

10:20am Tue 4 Feb 14

idharper says...

great idea - in Malvern vale (new estate) the builders have installed PIR lights on every house and as people walk up the road you see them all come on one after another - the streetlights here are surplus to requirements lets take them all out here !!.
great idea - in Malvern vale (new estate) the builders have installed PIR lights on every house and as people walk up the road you see them all come on one after another - the streetlights here are surplus to requirements lets take them all out here !!. idharper
  • Score: 15

10:42am Tue 4 Feb 14

liketoknow says...

let's get all the pavements done first .
let's get all the pavements done first . liketoknow
  • Score: 10

10:48am Tue 4 Feb 14

chris4536 says...

Totally agree with BadgerMarsh,not only will it save money but will cut down on light pollution.
Agree some lights are can be a good thing, but "man up" people you can live quite happily without; a lot of people in the uk live in rural areas where it is pitch dark.
Totally agree with BadgerMarsh,not only will it save money but will cut down on light pollution. Agree some lights are can be a good thing, but "man up" people you can live quite happily without; a lot of people in the uk live in rural areas where it is pitch dark. chris4536
  • Score: 13

11:23am Tue 4 Feb 14

DaleWilson966 says...

Why should the British ratepayer be expected to foot the bill just because you want to walk around the streets at night?? I'd suggest they buy a torch but theyd probably still run cap in hand to the Council expecting the council to foot the bill for there AA bateries, its an outrage!!
Why should the British ratepayer be expected to foot the bill just because you want to walk around the streets at night?? I'd suggest they buy a torch but theyd probably still run cap in hand to the Council expecting the council to foot the bill for there AA bateries, its an outrage!! DaleWilson966
  • Score: 8

11:49am Tue 4 Feb 14

Vox populi says...

Eat more carrots.............
problem solved.
Eat more carrots............. problem solved. Vox populi
  • Score: 6

12:45pm Tue 4 Feb 14

sugarlump says...

good move - at least at night we wont be able to see all the new proposed houses in Worcestershire
good move - at least at night we wont be able to see all the new proposed houses in Worcestershire sugarlump
  • Score: 9

1:21pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Guy66 says...

DaleWilson966 wrote:
Why should the British ratepayer be expected to foot the bill just because you want to walk around the streets at night?? I'd suggest they buy a torch but theyd probably still run cap in hand to the Council expecting the council to foot the bill for there AA bateries, its an outrage!!
They don't foot the bill! It is factored into your local council tax, so we are already paying for this 'service'.

It was only 18 months to 2 years ago that Worcester CC starting replacing the older street light bulbs with 'brighter', less light pollution leakage, cheaper to run ones. I would assume the costs to run these are factored into the local taxes so we pay for a 'service' which they now want to reduce. Are we expecting a reduction in council tax now????
[quote][p][bold]DaleWilson966[/bold] wrote: Why should the British ratepayer be expected to foot the bill just because you want to walk around the streets at night?? I'd suggest they buy a torch but theyd probably still run cap in hand to the Council expecting the council to foot the bill for there AA bateries, its an outrage!![/p][/quote]They don't foot the bill! It is factored into your local council tax, so we are already paying for this 'service'. It was only 18 months to 2 years ago that Worcester CC starting replacing the older street light bulbs with 'brighter', less light pollution leakage, cheaper to run ones. I would assume the costs to run these are factored into the local taxes so we pay for a 'service' which they now want to reduce. Are we expecting a reduction in council tax now???? Guy66
  • Score: 0

2:42pm Tue 4 Feb 14

pudniw_gib says...

Just spoke to the kids about it.... they want the lights off.. especially the one outside their bedroom windows.. it was off for a couple of weeks due to a fault, its back on and they are pretty annoyed.
Just spoke to the kids about it.... they want the lights off.. especially the one outside their bedroom windows.. it was off for a couple of weeks due to a fault, its back on and they are pretty annoyed. pudniw_gib
  • Score: 8

6:30pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Rainbowdust99 says...

Half of the lights up my street don't work anyway...
Half of the lights up my street don't work anyway... Rainbowdust99
  • Score: 5

7:39pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Keith B says...

Great - Dark Sky. A good green issue that you'd expect Labour to support - but McDonald is "opposition" so makes a knee jerk against reaction.

A rural County NEEDS to be a Dark Sky county. Many of the villages are without street lights - there isn't massive street crime in those villages.

It's a great idea for ecological reasons - and the money saved is a bonus.
Great - Dark Sky. A good green issue that you'd expect Labour to support - but McDonald is "opposition" so makes a knee jerk against reaction. A rural County NEEDS to be a Dark Sky county. Many of the villages are without street lights - there isn't massive street crime in those villages. It's a great idea for ecological reasons - and the money saved is a bonus. Keith B
  • Score: 7

12:32pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Giorgos says...

Keith B wrote:
Great - Dark Sky. A good green issue that you'd expect Labour to support - but McDonald is "opposition" so makes a knee jerk against reaction. A rural County NEEDS to be a Dark Sky county. Many of the villages are without street lights - there isn't massive street crime in those villages. It's a great idea for ecological reasons - and the money saved is a bonus.
Totally agree - most villages do not have street lights and I'm sure you will find that most of their residents are more than happy that it is like that.
[quote][p][bold]Keith B[/bold] wrote: Great - Dark Sky. A good green issue that you'd expect Labour to support - but McDonald is "opposition" so makes a knee jerk against reaction. A rural County NEEDS to be a Dark Sky county. Many of the villages are without street lights - there isn't massive street crime in those villages. It's a great idea for ecological reasons - and the money saved is a bonus.[/p][/quote]Totally agree - most villages do not have street lights and I'm sure you will find that most of their residents are more than happy that it is like that. Giorgos
  • Score: 7

5:23pm Wed 5 Feb 14

moonpig says...

No street lights in my village and I LOVE it! If I wake up in the night I can see the stars. Realistically, how many people are actually walking about after midnight? I am sure that when I was a child the streetlights weren't on all night (and I am not that old). It seems like a really obvious way to save a lot of money so I am all for it.
No street lights in my village and I LOVE it! If I wake up in the night I can see the stars. Realistically, how many people are actually walking about after midnight? I am sure that when I was a child the streetlights weren't on all night (and I am not that old). It seems like a really obvious way to save a lot of money so I am all for it. moonpig
  • Score: 6

10:48pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Jabbadad says...

I live in a City, but with comments like villages who have not had street lighting for years , yet have no trouble, could be that many houses do have Motion detector lights which do click on as you pass, and in villages almost everyone knows each other, so it is a different community to the ones in the Cities. So yes it could well be a problem in the quieter parts of the Cities.
We will have to wait and see, but I don't expect those who have thought up these ideas will be responsible for peoples safety or the exposure of their homes to the criminal eliment.
And to those who shrug the possible extra chances / opportunities of burgarly off, have you been burgled? If not shut up. Since you just have to experience this intrusion into your lives & homes where you thought you and your family were safe.
I live in a City, but with comments like villages who have not had street lighting for years , yet have no trouble, could be that many houses do have Motion detector lights which do click on as you pass, and in villages almost everyone knows each other, so it is a different community to the ones in the Cities. So yes it could well be a problem in the quieter parts of the Cities. We will have to wait and see, but I don't expect those who have thought up these ideas will be responsible for peoples safety or the exposure of their homes to the criminal eliment. And to those who shrug the possible extra chances / opportunities of burgarly off, have you been burgled? If not shut up. Since you just have to experience this intrusion into your lives & homes where you thought you and your family were safe. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

11:40am Thu 6 Feb 14

MJI says...

At last we will be able to see the night sky properly
At last we will be able to see the night sky properly MJI
  • Score: 2

1:30pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Jabbadad says...

Could that be as we are sprawled on our backs having tripped over / into some Pot Hole, Obstacle, looking up and saying we are so lucky to have a clear view of the stars..
Could that be as we are sprawled on our backs having tripped over / into some Pot Hole, Obstacle, looking up and saying we are so lucky to have a clear view of the stars.. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

4:31pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Ian_SE says...

A number of areas around the UK have already switched off many of their street lights at night. Some started doing this a couple of years ago.

Every single one of those areas has reported a reduction in crime. Criminals don't like to work in the dark.

Most crime happens in broad daylight.
A number of areas around the UK have already switched off many of their street lights at night. Some started doing this a couple of years ago. Every single one of those areas has reported a reduction in crime. Criminals don't like to work in the dark. Most crime happens in broad daylight. Ian_SE
  • Score: 5

1:24pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Annor1 says...

You'll soon get used to it, our village only has one street lamp, you never go out in the dark without a torch, a very quick way to save money without cutting vital services.
You'll soon get used to it, our village only has one street lamp, you never go out in the dark without a torch, a very quick way to save money without cutting vital services. Annor1
  • Score: 3

2:29pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Grey Bruce says...

Great idea, good for our environment and saves us money. I hope they go one step further and rip out all of the ultra bright LED lighting posts along the riverside. It used to be such a beautiful walk along there on an evening but now it's totally blinding, you can't even see the river and just have to walk along looking at your feet, it must have devastated the nocturnal wildlife. Whoever designed the riverside lighting plan had no clue about functionality, the environment or creating an ambience, I'm glad to see the Council finally taking light pollution seriously. If you're interested there's a great site with lot's of information here - www.darksky.org
Great idea, good for our environment and saves us money. I hope they go one step further and rip out all of the ultra bright LED lighting posts along the riverside. It used to be such a beautiful walk along there on an evening but now it's totally blinding, you can't even see the river and just have to walk along looking at your feet, it must have devastated the nocturnal wildlife. Whoever designed the riverside lighting plan had no clue about functionality, the environment or creating an ambience, I'm glad to see the Council finally taking light pollution seriously. If you're interested there's a great site with lot's of information here - www.darksky.org Grey Bruce
  • Score: 5

8:26am Sun 9 Feb 14

Guy66 says...

Annor1 wrote:
You'll soon get used to it, our village only has one street lamp, you never go out in the dark without a torch, a very quick way to save money without cutting vital services.
So rip and replacing thousands of light bulbs with more expensive self timing ones will produce a payback when? 17,000@£25 each £425,000 plus the time and effort to replace : 1000 per week and a minimum of three crews of two men, 102 man weeks @ £214,200 - total £639,200. Now they are off overnight for 6 hours 102,000 hours per night and average 0.005p per hour £510 per day. So payback is 1,253 days before we see any return or 3.5 years. Average bulb life 3-5 years so we are already in replacement before payback. No really a massive saving is it?
[quote][p][bold]Annor1[/bold] wrote: You'll soon get used to it, our village only has one street lamp, you never go out in the dark without a torch, a very quick way to save money without cutting vital services.[/p][/quote]So rip and replacing thousands of light bulbs with more expensive self timing ones will produce a payback when? 17,000@£25 each £425,000 plus the time and effort to replace : 1000 per week and a minimum of three crews of two men, 102 man weeks @ £214,200 - total £639,200. Now they are off overnight for 6 hours 102,000 hours per night and average 0.005p per hour £510 per day. So payback is 1,253 days before we see any return or 3.5 years. Average bulb life 3-5 years so we are already in replacement before payback. No really a massive saving is it? Guy66
  • Score: 1

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