19/12/2013 - Permalink

Streetlights conversion programme moving to Oswestry

Related topics: Community

Streetlights in the Oswestry area will be converted to ‘part-night lighting’ – meaning they are lit until midnight and then switch themselves off until 5.30am – over the coming months, to cut carbon and save energy bills. 

About 12,500 streetlights across the county maintained by Shropshire Council are being converted as part of a three-year project which began in April 2012, and almost 7,000 lights have already been converted across Shropshire. 

Lights in the south Shropshire and Shrewsbury areas have been converted so far, and now it’s the turn of Oswestry, to be followed by the north Shropshire and Bridgnorth areas in the next financial year (2014/15). 

It takes 7.7 million kilowatt-hours of power (and 3,490 tonnes of carbon) to run the council’s 18,500 streetlights, illuminated signs and traffic signals every year, which is the same amount of power used by 2,600 homes in a typical year. 

Converting 12,500 of these lights to part-night lighting will reduce energy use by 20% – a saving of 1.56 million kilowatt-hours of power and almost 812 tonnes of carbon. 

The plans were approved by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet back in September 2011, following detailed discussion between Shropshire Council, police, town councils and parish councils about how the scheme would work. 

Claire Wild, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:

“A lot of work went into the project right at the start to reassure people that turning lights off in the middle of night would not lead to increased levels of crime and disorder. 

“Evidence from other parts of the country showed that crime often decreased in areas where lights were converted to part-night lighting, and indeed that has been the case here in Shropshire. 

“A partnership group of council officers and the police are regularly checking crime statistics and comparing them to where lights are being converted, and there has been no evidence to suggest that public safety is being affected.  If the partnership group have any concerns about a particular area then lights will not be switched off, it’s as simple as that.” 

More than 6,000 lights are remaining in dusk to dawn operation, following extensive risk assessments by engineers, the police, town council and parish councils’ representatives to decide which lights should be included in the scheme.

 Typically lights at dangerous road junctions, sheltered housing schemes or areas considered to be at a high risk of anti-social behaviour were not considered for part-night lighting. 

The work programme is designed to convert lights as they are maintained by the council’s contractors, Ringway. 

Lights are due to start being converted in Oswestry from Monday 6 January 2014. 

People can see which lights are due to be converted, and when, by viewing an interactive map on the council’s website at shropshire.gov.uk/street-lighting/part-night-lighting/