Street light scheme saving money in Leicestershire

Councillors have said a scheme to reduce street light use in Leicestershire is saving money.

Sixty lights have been turned off and 1,300 village lamps are being switched off between midnight and 0530 BST.

The county council plans to turn off 1,000 more lights over the next few months and has said the move will save £19,000 over the first 12 months.

Twenty-eight more villages are also expected to switch off their lamps late at night as part of the project.

'Innovative steps'

The authority ultimately wants to dim 2,000 roadside lights on main roads from 1900 to 0700 BST, switch-off 1,000 lights in rural areas and switch off 40,000 street lights late at night in villages.

It said the changes will eventually cut lighting costs by £700,000 a year and reduce carbon emissions by 3,000 tonnes.

Councillor Mike Preston, the county council's cabinet member for climate action, said: "It makes sense to dim lights beside main roads and switch off others that aren't needed, and I'm pleased our innovative steps are already cutting energy costs and pollution.

"The vast majority of feedback has been positive and although we do recognise there may be public concerns about switching off street lights late at night, other councils, like Gloucestershire and Essex, have adopted this approach and found that it has not led to increased crime.

"Just by making these simple changes, we can cut annual carbon emissions by 3,000 tonnes and that's got to be worthwhile."

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