Lincolnshire County Council u-turns on early streetlight switch-off following public backlash

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Lincolnshire County Council has reversed its plans to turn off some streetlights at 10pm, following public concerns.

The council is looking to save £1.7m from its annual £5m streetlighting budget, which will involve turning off some lights in residential areas for part of the night. Although the majority of these lights will go out at midnight, the authority had initially planned to turn off some at 10pm.

However, following calls from some of those affected, the council has decided to revise its plans, and leave all ‘part-night’ lights on until midnight - after which time there is significantly less traffic.

The move aims to minimise the inconvenience to, and impact on, the majority of road users whilst still bringing in significant savings.

Councillor Richard Davies, Executive Member for Highways and Transport, said: “The Council’s budget has been cut by more than £100m over the last few years, and we need to save a further £41m this year.

“We simply can’t afford to do everything we’ve done in the past.

“Streetlights are expensive, and, frankly, many of them do not need to be on during the small hours of the morning – all they are doing is burning taxpayers’ money.

“The evidence shows that these particular lights can be turned off for part of the night without jeopardising people’s safety. And by saving money in this way, we can protect other vital areas, like the pothole budget.

“However, we know some people are concerned by the changes, particularly those on streets where the lights have been going out at 10pm.

“We’ve listened, and have decided to revise our plans. That means all ‘part-night’ lights will now remain on until midnight.

“Those lights that have been converted to 10pm will be revisited over the next two months and will be reset to switch off at midnight. The rest of the transformation programme will proceed as planned.

“Of course, this change does mean we’ll save less and that money will have to be found elsewhere, which is something we’re going to have to look at.”

For further details on the streetlight transformation project, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/streetlighting.

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