All-night lighting returns after KCC’s £40m streetlight U-turn
Kent County Council (KCC) has confirmed there will now be allnight lighting across the county following a decision to switch to new energy-efficient LED lights.
Councillors have backed the U- turn, which follows the announcement KCC is to spend £40 million converting 118,000 streetlights to provide the option of all-night lighting.
Work is expected to be completed within three years and will eventually save Kent taxpayers up to £5.2m a year.
However, KCC says it will listen to calls for lighting to be dimmed or switched off where district councils and parsih councils ask for it; where these requests are made, KCC will have the final say.
The draft programme for the residential areas and approximate timeline is:
Phase 1: Ashford, Shepway and Dover – March to July 2016;
Phase 2: Sevenoaks, Dartford and Gravesham – July to September 2016;
Phase 3: Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Malling and Maidstone – September to November 2016;
Phase 4: Swale, Canterbury and Thanet –November 16 to May 2017.
In a consultation carried out last year, there were more than 3,700 responses.
Of these, 63% said they preferred all-night lighting, while 37% said they preferred partnight lighting at the current level.
At the moment, the bill for the county’s streetlights and lit signs is nearly £9.5 a year in maintenance, electricity costs and carbon tax.
Cllr Matthew Balfour, Kent County Council cabinet member for the environment, said: “By embracing LED lighting in one of the largest projects of its kind in the United Kingdom, we can make significant savings to our electricity bill and cut our carbon footprint.”
The decision ends a period of controversy the council faced when there was widespread opposition to proposals for streetlights to be switched off and dimmed.
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Taxpayers will save £5.2m a year after the work is completed