Page last updated at 15:05 GMT, Monday, 14 December 2009

Carmarthenshire agrees to street light switch-off


Whether the lights stay on or off, is just a drop in the ocean

A council is to go ahead with a partial switch off of its 18,000 street lights to save money.

Carmarthenshire council will turn off a third of the lights in residential areas between 0030 and 0530 GMT, and two thirds on highways routes.

The executive board took the decision after members were told it had the backing of most residents.

Roundabouts, junctions and pedestrian crossings will be exempt and it is hoped the switch-off will save £67,000.

'Crime and safety'

The authority said 6,000 out of the county's 18,337 lights would be switched off, and it would also reduce the council's carbon footprint by 370 tonnes in its first year.

Councillor Jim Jones, chairman of the environment scrutiny committee, said: "We consulted with a number of stakeholders including the emergency services, the community safety section, road safety unit, traffic management and members of the public as part of the review.

"The majority of residents are supportive of part-night lighting, I've even had people in my ward asking if we can switch off the lights outside their houses.

"Obviously there are some people who are concerned about crime and safety, but this is why we involved the police from the beginning."

He said there were some areas, such as pedestrian crossings, those areas covered by CCTV or sheltered housing, where no lights would be turned off at all.

He said 70% of residents backed the plans after public consultation.

But the switch-off will not start until the new year and is likely to take around 12 to 18 months to fully implement.

Some town and community councils in Carmarthenshire have already introduced part-night lighting.

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