Council criticised over ‘lights out’ scheme by Grantham resident
A resident has hit out at Lincolnshire County Council over its decision to turn off street lights in residential areas in Grantham and across the county.
Adrian Mapletoft, 45, works at Moy Park in Grantham and leaves his home in Scotney Drive, Grantham, at 3.30am for work.
It is a ‘part-night lights’ area as part of the local authority’s scheme to save £1.7m from its annual £5m street lighting budget.
Mr Mapletoft says the street lights in Scotney Drive, and the surrounding Kenilworth Road and Alma Park areas, are switched off at about 1am – leaving the neighbourhood in darkness.
He said: “It feels like we don’t matter.
“They’re turning all the street lights off to save money but it’s not nice for the people who have to walk to work at this time of morning, especially females. It will not be long before car crime is up, people getting attacked in the streets.”
But Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways and transport, says reduced lighting has been in place in Lincoln for several months and is not aware of any increase in traffic collisions or crime.
He added: “This mirrors the experiences of other local authorities that have introduced these changes, some of whom have even seen a reduction in such incidents.
“Anyone who chooses to use an unlit road or footpath needs to consider the possible risks and decide whether they need to take action to mitigate them.”
LCC plans to have completed its roll-out of lighting changes by the end of March 2017. Street lights in areas marked up as ‘part-night lights’ areas are typically switched off between midnight and 6am.
Coun Davies said: “All street lights in Grantham and the surrounding areas have been assessed as part of the programme.
“However, we are taking advice from the police and the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership and not making changes where it is inappropriate to do so. That means lights remain on in places where there is, for example, a history of significant night-time crime or road accidents.
“The majority of residential areas are included within the part-night lighting scheme, unless the location meets one of the exception criteria listed at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/streetlighting or where the lights on a main road have been converted to LED.”