Views sought on street light switch-off plans

Devon County Council proposals for Barnstaple go on display to public tomorrow.

PEOPLE in Barnstaple are now able to view Devon County Council proposals for part time night lighting in the town.

A display of the plans including, information about the scheme and details of the roads affected, will be on show at the Castle Centre from today (Wednesday) until the end of the month.

Street lights in some residential areas of the town are planned to be switched off overnight as part of the council’s on-going programme to reduce carbon emissions and cut energy consumption.

The three-to-five-year scheme started in late 2009 and aims to change around 60,000 street lights to part night lighting, meaning they are switched off between 12.30am and 5.30am. The times will be adjusted during British summertime.

Around 28,000 lights have so far been converted in more than 170 towns, including in Bideford.

Main road lighting and town centre areas will remain lit all night, but consideration will be given to dimming lighting where possible.

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The county council has been discussing plans with Barnstaple Town Council, including which areas will undergo conversion. There is no current timescale for the introduction of the scheme, but the aim would be for work to start later in the year.

Councillor Brian Greenslade, county councillor for Barnstaple North, said he welcomed the opportunity for residents to engage with the process.

He said: “We have already been successful in helping secure all night lighting for town centre roads and streets where night time economy issues affect residents.

“I hope residents will take a look and feed back any further views before a final decision is taken.”

Cllr Chris Haywood, county councillor for Barnstaple South, added: “I’m all in favour of cutting down on non-essential street lighting but I’m also concerned that in a big town like Barnstaple there are routes people use on their way home from a night out or from a night shift at work.

“In liaison with the police and public we can get this scheme right so that essential areas remain lit.”

The council said the overall policy was expected to save up to 4,000 tonnes of CO2 and approximately �450,000 on the council’s electricity bill over the entirety of the programme. However, after just one year, it said figures indicated a CO2 emission saving of nearly 2,900 tonnes and a cost saving of �484,000.

The exhibition at the Castle Centre will be open Monday to Friday, from 9am-6pm.

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