Leicestershire council street light scheme to save £800K

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Up to £800,000 will be saved by a scheme to reduce street light use in Leicestershire, the county council has now claimed.

The authority has already dimmed, switched off and limited the use of some of its 68,000 street lights and hopes to have altered 75% by 2014.

Officials have revised previous estimates of a £700,000 saving due to higher energy prices.

The changes were made after talks with parish councils and emergency services.

As well as saving money, the scheme is expected to prevent the release of 3,000 tonnes of carbon from energy use.

By 2014, Leicestershire County Council aims to:

  • Dim about 2,000 roadside lights on main routes, between 19:00 GMT and 07:00 GMT
  • Switch off about 1,000 lights, mainly on traffic routes without a night time accident record
  • Switch off up to 40,000 street lights between midnight and 05:30 GMT in towns and villages across Leicestershire

Lesley Pendleton, county council cabinet member for environment and transport, said: "This is a very ambitious programme but one that has also been carefully consulted on at all stages.

"We understand that people have concerns over safety, but overnight dimming or switching off only takes place when town and parish councils have been consulted.

"We are making big savings on our energy bill, but not at the expense of public safety or security."

So far about 12,000 lamps in 48 towns and villages across Leicestershire have been switched off between midnight and and 05:30 GMT.

A further 835 have been dimmed between 19:00 GMT and 07:00 GMT, and 852 switched off permanently.

The authority also said it had reduced the maintenance costs of Leicestershire's street lights by up to £70,000, on top of the potential £800,000 saving.

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