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Street lights to be switched off
12:30pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
STREETS around Chelmsford will be plunged into darkness as part of a money and energy-saving trial from Sunday.
Essex County Council will introduce its part-night street lighting to the city which will see a number of lights turned off between midnight and 5am to reduce its carbon footprint and costs.
Having already tried the project in Maldon and Uttlesford since 2007, the authority which will also be rolling out the plan in Braintree says no negative effects on crime or road collisions were expected.
Rodney Bass, councillor responsible for highways, said a lot of work went into deciding which lights are switched off, adding changes can be made if they see fit.
He said: “Extending part-night lighting will deliver significant reductions to our energy consumption and related expenditure.
“I can assure residents this is not a decision which has been taken lightly and we’ve had successful pilot schemes running since 2007.”
The plans have not come without opposition with many residents and officials calling for alternatives to be considered.
Mark Springett, city councillor for Moulsham Lodge, compiled a report stating why he is against the scheme – he believes LED lights would be a better solution.
The Lib Dem said: “I spoke to an electrician who put LED lights in Broomfield Hospital and when you take everything into account, it uses less energy and maintenance costs would be lower.
“Chelmsford is completely different to Maldon and Uttlesford as there are lots of nightclubs and pubs that attract a lot of revellers and to think of youngsters walking back in the dark when they are a bit worse for wear is a concern.
“The county council may say crime has dropped in Maldon and Uttlesford, but it has done nationally and when you look at averages, the drops in Maldon and Uttlesford are not as low.
“This is about public safety. You have to ask why were the lights put there in the first place – and it is to mitigate against risk.”
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