Published: May 19, 2011
Street lights to be switched off in Burnham-On-Sea to save costs

Some street lights in the Burnham-On-Sea area will soon be switched off between midnight and 5.30am as part of a money-saving project by Somerset County Council.

The council has been awarded £500,000 in funding from the South West Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership to switch off or dim lights in selected locations across the county.

Lighting will be reduced from midnight until 5.30am when there is less traffic on the roads with the aim of reducing Somerset’s carbon footprint and saving costs.

To properly gauge the real results of the scheme as well as accommodate requests by the participating parishes, the Council is not identifying the exact locations where the lamps will be switched off or dimmed - but Burnham is to be among the areas trialled.

Cllr David Hall, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Economic Development at Somerset County Council, said: "We are eager to reduce the impact street lighting has on the environment as well bring our energy costs down."

"The project aims to convert approximately 20% of our lights to part-night operation, but we are being very careful that the lighting of areas around major traffic routes, key pedestrian crossings, road hazards, vulnerable people’s residences, hospitals, and crime hot spots are not affected."

"In addition, light pollution in Somerset has increased significantly over the past decade. Cutting night-time lighting will reduce these levels giving our residents a better night’s sleep."

The effects of part-night lighting will be monitored over two years at six-month intervals.

The council adds that full-time lighting may be re-installed if police report an increase in crime, anti-social behaviour, or traffic accidents as a result of the changes.

Areas that will not be affected by part-night lighting include most traffic routes (although some lights may be dimmed), locations with a significant late night road traffic accident record, areas with above average record of crime, areas provided with CCTV and local authority/police surveillance equipment, areas with sheltered housing and other residences accommodating vulnerable people, areas with 24hr operational emergency services sites including hospitals, formal pedestrian crossings, subways and enclosed footpaths and alleyways where one end links to a street that is lit all night, and where there are potential hazards on the highway, such as roundabouts, central carriageway islands, chicanes, speed-humps.


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