Streets in dark will cut electricity cost
Political Editor cil is weighing up the idea, but emphasised any proposal would only go ahead once police, emergency services and residents were consulted.
He said it was clear there were many roads where it was not necessary to keep lights on throughout the night. In some areas, lights could be turned off for several hours whereas in others, it could mean turning them off half-an-hour earlier.
“There is an issue about whether it makes sense to light up some roads between midnight and 6am. We are looking at turning off lights earlier in the morning when there is very little traffic around and using your headlights would be quite adequate. We are going to look very closely at the times they are turned on and off,” he said.
With about 120,000 streetlights across the county, turning each one off 15 minutes earlier would produce significant savings.
Alongside the introduction of a low-energy LED bulbs in street- lights, potential savings could run into millions.
KCC’s change of heart over the idea has been prompted partly by the success of a trial in Essex.
Opposition Labour spokesman Cllr Roger Truelove sounded a note of caution. “We would need to be absolutely sure there was no risk to public safety and it could prove rather dangerous.”
Road safety group RosPA said that it did not oppose the idea but said councils should consider how to implement any scheme.
KCC’s energy costs have soared in recent years in line with an industry-wide hike in prices. This year, it expects to pay £4million for electricity for its bills.
Cllr Roger Truelove: It could prove rather dangerous