PLANS to introduce part-night street lighting in areas of Warwickshire will be revealed to residents over the coming weeks.
Warwickshire County Council is attending Community Forums from May 31 to detail the changes which will see lamps switched off between midnight and 5.30am.
Places not affected by the changes include highway hotspots such as roundabouts, traffic signal controlled junctions, central carriageway islands, traffic calming features, pedestrian crossings and areas adjacent to elderly people care homes, sheltered accommodation complexes and A&E hospitals.
Areas covered by CCTV cameras, lighting adjacent to operational taxi ranks, and on public footpaths, alleyways and cycle paths which are located away from roads, will also remain lit.
The plans have been put in place in consultation with the police, road safety and community safety teams. Figures published by other local authorities have shown that crime has dropped by up to 50 per cent since the part-night lighting was introduced.
Cllr Peter Butlin, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways and Transport, said: “The reasons for introducing part-night street lighting are primarily to make budget savings and meet our carbon emissions targets.
“It is important to note that we have been working closely with the police, community safety and road safety teams to ensure that the changes are not going to have a negative impact either for road users or in terms of criminal behaviour.
“The scheme has worked well in other parts of the country and rest assured that we will closely monitor traffic accidents and crime levels and review any changes that may need to be made as we move forward.”
The county council currently spends £2.2 million a year on energy for street lighting. It is anticipated that operating street lighting on a part-night basis for 80 per cent of Warwickshire’s 49,500 street lights will save the authority £500,000 a year.
These measures will also reduce Warwickshire County Council’s CO2 emissions by approximately 3,000 tonnes of
CO2 per year. The current street lighting energy use is the equivalent to the total energy usage of approximately 4,500 average Warwickshire homes – or the equivalent of a community the size of Atherstone in North Warwickshire, or the combined consumption of Shipston-on-Stour and Wellesbourne.
Part-night lighting has been successfully introduced in Buckinghamshire, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire, Powys and Oxfordshire. And there are many other councils which are now implementing or considering part-night lighting.
After the switch-off in one Gloucestershire area, Frampton Cotterell, the crime rate fell by 50 per cent compared to the previous year. In Essex crime dropped by 14 per cent in Maldon and there was no increase in road collisions.
The installation of a new Central Management System to control the lights will mean that in the case of an emergency, such as road traffic collision or an area search, the police will be able to request the lights to be switched on for the duration of the incident.
Warwickshire County Council is engaging with residents and interest groups over the summer which will include providing details to all Community Forums, Parish and Town Councils and other groups such as disability forums. This includes detailed plans showing the lighting columns which will be affected by the changes.
The county council’s Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee has set up a Task and Finish Group which will be examining all aspects of the project and will be scrutinising crime and road safety figures from other authorities currently operating the part night system.
For further details on part-night operation and to see if the lighting outside your property is affected by the changes, visit the website at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/partnightlighting
RUGBY COMMUNITY FORUMS
Brownsover, Benn and Newbold
Multi Purpose Hall, Warwickshire College (new Rugby site), Technology Drive, Rugby.
Flecknoe Village Hall
Morrison Room, Binley Woods Village Hall, Rugby Road, Binley Woods
Eastlands and Hillmorton
Paddox Methodist Church, Dunsmore Avenue, Rugby, CV22 5HD
Pailton Village Hall, Lutterworth Road, Pailton, CV23 0QE
Rugby Town West
Indian Community Centre, Edward Street, Rugby, CV21 2EZ