To save money and reduce our carbon emissions and light pollution, we will be turning off some of our street lights at night – this is called part night street lighting. This will involve some lights being switched off for five hours over night, between 12am and 5am.
Essex County Council has been running a pilot part night lighting scheme in Maldon and Uttlesford since early 2007. Street lights are switched off between 12 midnight and 5am, with some exceptions such as town centres, key road junctions and accident cluster sites. Since the pilot scheme began there has been no increase in recorded crime or road collisions in the two districts. The pilot has also delivered energy savings of 20% (approx £70,000 per annum).
The part night street light operation will be rolled out across Essex starting this year. We are currently installing a new device to all our street lights that will allow us to control the lights remotely, from a central location. It will also tell us when there is a fault with the street light, so we will be able to respond to it more efficiently. However, just because a street light has been installed with this new device, does not mean that it will be switched off during the night.
We will carry out consultation with District and Borough Councils, Town and Parish Councils and the Emergency Services before any decision is taken on which street lights will be switch to part night. They will also have the opportunity to make any requests for areas that should be excluded from the scheme. The consultations will take place on a phased, district-by-district basis. The first district to be consulted is Braintree, followed by Chelmsford.
It is anticipated that 70% of street lights in Essex will move to part night lighting. For further information about the part night street light operation, please see below.