Forum > Part Night Street Lighting Consultation

Staffordshire County Council has recently approved changes to introduce dimmable street lights on a County wide basis, where appropriate. In coming to this decision the Council also considered introducing ‘Part Night’ street lights – that is, switching off lights from midnight until early morning. Whilst the County Council has decided not to introduce this option the Council is aware that some Parish Council’s may choose to support a more natural night time environment and recommends that such a decision should reside with Parish Councils who in turn would obtain the support of their community.

Should a community support such an initiative then the County Council would fund the cost to modify existing street lights to enable part night operation but should the need arise to revert back to all night lighting then the Parish Council would have to take responsibility for any reversions and associated costs, unless there was a proven link to crime or road safety concerns.

At this stage Members of the Parish Council would like to seek the views of the community as to whether there is support for switching off street lights from midnight until early morning. Various options would be available: all lights in a street; alternate lights; only individual lights. Any proposal would be subject to a safety review by the County Council. This forum is ideal for sharing your views. What do you think?
I think it would be a great idea to turn nearly all of them off. Most houses in Coven have security lights for their driveways and any pedestrians out at that time can use a torch. It would be nice to see more of the night sky.

There are also systems available whereby pedestrians can text a number displayed on the street lighting to have them turned on.
July 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCoven Resident
Thank you for the feed-back. The Parish Council newsletter will be delivered to homes throughtout the Parish shortly and a flier seeking the views of the community on this matter will be enclosed. Feel free to complete the survey and return it to the Council although your views have been noted.
We would not be in support of part night operation of street lights in Bishopswood. The amount to be saved would be minimal.
There are parts of the village where there are no pavements, but there are a surprising number of vehicles movements throughout the night.
We also consider that street lighting adds to the feeling of security for residents, especially senior citizens and those living alone.
I have been a professional street lighting engineer for 27 years and in my current role I am in the process of developing something similar to the County Council's scheme for my own local authority employer.

The thing to remember is that street lighting is provided for a purpose - to assist in safe road use after dark and promote public safety. If the rationale that had the street lighting installed in the first place hasn't changed, or indeed has become worse (for example traffic or crime levels have increased), then it may be unwise to remove lighting - even in the small hours - and may even be against the duty of care the lighting authority has to the road/footpath user or resident. This may require a risk assessment to determine whether this is the case for each individual road. This doesn't mean that switching off is definitely out - it just needs a careful examination of the facts before making a decision.

Dimming is less contentious as at levels of up to about 50-60% of initial illumination there is no discernible reduction in the lighting provided - there is indeed a reduction, as would be detected by a light meter, but certainly to the untrained eye there's no apparent difference. It's even backed up by European Standards as the standards allow a lighting class reduction when traffic and pedestrian levels reduce. However, this only applies when the light source is of a 'white' type - certainly not the orange sodium lighting still prevalent in Brewood and Coven - and it may be worth finding out whether such a change is proposed by the County Council.

In short, it's got to be considered carefully and backed up by facts and figures before proceeding with either course of action.
July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMel Harwood, IEng MILP
We would be in favour of night time dimming, which not only has a cost saving effect but also impacts positively upon the environment.

The Council may also wish to consider turning street lighting off during the hours of night (e.g. between 1am and 5am) on side roads or estate roads, rather than apply a blanket approach across the whole parish, so that main roads and those well trafficked remain lit.

Limiting street lighting will, as another resident has pointed out, enable a better view of the night sky.
I would support the switching off of all street lights between the hours of midnight and say 06.00. This would save energy and allow us to see a bit more of the night sky (if the clouds ever clear). Cars have very effective headlights so it is difficult to believe that there would be any risk of an increase in road traffic accidents. I also think it very unlikely that this would lead to a rise in crime.

I suspect we have all become familiar with the idea that the lights are on all the time so feel uneasy (unsafe?) if they are switched off. Now is the time for a change. If I wanted to go out at night when the lights were off I'd take a torch, even my mobile phone provides sufficient light to navigate up the steps of Jacob's ladder.

I suppose that a compromise would be to leave the odd light on at a junction or the end of a footpath if the technology allows for that to happen but my clear preference, from the perspective of a Brewood resident, is to switch them all off
July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Knight
We would support the dimming and / or switching off of street lighting for part of the night for energy saving reasons.

We wonder, given the alterations and work involved, how long it would take to re-coup the costs through the savings?

We appreciate that others may have concerns for safety and that perhaps a selective approach would be best and would be happy to abide by a majority decision.
July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBishop's Wood family
we would be in support but only for individual street lights
July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrewood couple