Street lights dimming plans under scrutiny

Lincolnshire County Council is looking into dimming lights at night in Lincoln and across the county, in a move that could save millions over the coming years.

The local authority has completed trials to dim street lights wherever practicable, apart from those in the city and town centres, or near pedestrian crossings.

The council says that street lights dimming takes into account reduced traffic between peak periods, but pedestrian subway lighting will be on permanently.

The proposed hours for dimming are from 9pm to 6am, while part night lighting in areas such as Glebe Park in Lincoln will be from midnight to 5.30am.

The dimming will be performed with a dimming apparatus, which the council believes would have been paid by savings in electricity by the end of its life.

The County Council is unsure how much money it would save, but says similar schemes in the Nottingham area saved £3 million over three years.

A council report insists the main goals of the scheme are actually reductions in carbon emissions and demand on generating capacity.

The Lincolnshire County Council operates 73,386 street lights in the county, out of which 62,389 are street lights, and 10,850 are illuminated signs.

The plans, now up for public consultation in over 500 parishes in Lincolnshire, will allow parish councils to ask the County Council to join the dimming scheme.

Not switching off

“The proposals do not advocate wholesale switching the lights off,” said John Monk, Consultancy Services Manager at the Lincolnshire County Council.

“The policy revision supported by our Highways and Transport Committee this week proposes the dimming of new and replacement street lights wherever practicable.

“This means that safety will always come first, so we will work with the police and road safety partnership to judge each potential location on its own merits.

“A period of consultation now follows and any comments will be taken into account when the policy goes back to the Highways Committee in October for final approval.”

LCC report | Photo: Graham Hodgson | Related Report: Lincolnshire Echo, BBC News