The Great ‘Switch off’

June 23, 2015

According to the BBC, it has become a trend among local councils in England to begin ‘experimenting’ with street lights in the pursuit of cutting energy costs. They have began dimming or completely switching off lights on particular roads at particular times (usually 12am – 6am). The labour party last year estimated up to two quarters of England’s council areas have ‘plunged into darkness’.

The issue is the perceived safety of Road users and Pedestrians. The argument is that as lights go off in the dark – people feel less safe walking the streets, and more vehicle users are flicking on full beams to assure their own safety on roads with a limit of 40mph and above.

AA claims six lives were lost as a result of local ‘switch offs’ between 2009/14, whilst some legal Authorities and Politicians defend the scheme as being a safe and reasonable action to take against the pressure on council budgets and the high cost of electricity.

There are other views that suggest that there are ways to have the financial benefits of changing lighting without endangering drivers and pedestrians, either through switching to LED lamps, or limiting the areas this initiative effects (perhaps to more rural/remote commercial estates – which tend to use their own security lighting systems).

Has your area considered a ‘switch off’ scheme? If so, how has it impacted you? If not, should it? Leave a comment, let us know!





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