January 16, 2019 9.31 am This story is over 32 months old

£300 per light cost for people to switch streetlights on

The price of darkness

A new protocol has been revealed for communities to pay to turn their streetlights back on, but it could cost them £300 per light.

The plan will allow people to reverse part night lighting for the complete length of any named street.

It comes as the Lincolnshire County Council controversially switched off more than half of the region’s 68,000 street lights for part of the night in an effort to save the authority £1.7 million.

The system means that they are turned off between midnight (and as early as 10pm in some areas) until dawn.

But, the move was criticised by local people and led the authority to review their streetlights policy.

Listen to our interview with Councillor Richard Davies reflecting on the scheme in February 2018:

Under the proposals, parish councils will have to apply to the county authority to reverse the change.

It means they will have to pay £300 per light if the switch on does not fall within a routine council maintenance programme.

However, if the proposal falls within that period, then it will cost the parish £150 per light.

Councillors on the authority’s Highways and Transport Scrutiny have been recommended to support the policy at a meeting on January 21.

The move to change the policy was backed by the senior councillor for community safety, Councillor Barry Young, who said he “enthusiastically” supported the plan.

Councillor Rob Parker, chairman of the county council’s scrutiny management board. Picture: Calvin Robinson

Meanwhile, chair of the council’s scrutiny management board, Councillor Rob Parker, said the plan will provide an “opportunity” for local people.

County councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said he believed the changes address any concerns about the policy.

He said: “Although we’ve seen no evidence that part-night lighting has had a negative impact on people’s safety or crime rates, we realise some people are still concerned about the changes.

“These proposals give parishes and other communities the option to pay to have their lights upgraded and left on overnight, which will hopefully help address any remaining worries.”

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