Council Criticised For Dimming Road Lights

Lancashire County Council Admits Dimming Lights To Save Money


Lancashire County Council has been criticised by road safety campaigners after admitting that it dimmed street lights at night as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

The local authority said lamps were being dimmed from time to time while it carried out a five-year maintenance cycle which will include a £10m investment in LED lamps.

Councillor Alyson Barnes said the council needs to strike a "balancing act" to meet energy targets and reduce spending, and stressed that the new LED lights are more energy-efficient and will save money in the long term.

However, the AA warned that low lighting increases the risk of fatal accidents, while Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said darker streets would leave people more vulnerable to crime at night.

"It's not just about people feeling vulnerable in their homes, but on the streets of their own communities. Surely there is greater risk of robbery and burglary on darker streets," said the MP.

“My argument would be that if the council was more efficient then they wouldn’t need to turn lights off or dim them."

Expert Opinion
A number of councils around England and Wales have been reducing the amount of time street lights are in operation in a bid to cut costs, but the practice could be impacting the safety of motorists and vulnerable road users who continue to use the roads during quiet periods.

“The darker mornings and nights of the winter months often see the number of accidents increase, which makes it imperative safety measures should be increased at this time of year, rather than reducing lighting which can hamper the visibility of road users in urban and rural areas.

“We have seen the devastating impact road collisions can have on motorists and vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, so we would urge any reduction of lighting is carefully considered by local authorities.”
Jonathan Peacock, Partner

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