Dorset

Dorset street light switch-off approved

Thousands of street lights across Dorset are to be switched off between 0000 GMT and 0530 GMT each night in an attempt to save money.

Dorset County Council approved the plan at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The majority of residential areas across the county will be affected with the exception of town centres, areas with high crime rates or busy roads.

The Conservative-run authority said it hoped the move would cut its annual lighting energy bill by 10%.

The council said it was spending £1.87m a year on electricity powering its 42,000 street lights, signs and bollards.

The partial switch-off has already been trialled in some rural villages.

Town and parish councils are now being asked to identify roads which need to remain lit throughout the night.

The council has said it needs to save £54.9m over the next three years.

It said the lighting plan was a direct result of a 23% reduction in its government grants.

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