Switch-off to save council thousands

PUBLISHED: 15:57 17 May 2007 | UPDATED: 21:40 29 May 2010

Dark alleys will be plunged into darkness – Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Dark alleys will be plunged into darkness – Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

PARTS of the Uttlesford district will be plunged into darkness in the early hours of every morning when streetlights are switched off starting next week. But after a great deal of public anger, Saffron Walden will be spared the total darkness – at least f

PARTS of the Uttlesford district will be plunged into darkness in the early hours of every morning when streetlights are switched off starting next week.

But after a great deal of public anger, Saffron Walden will be spared the total darkness - at least for the time being.

An estimated 86 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be saved every year when the streetlights are extinguished between midnight and 5am each day, saving nearly a quarter of Uttlesford's street lighting energy bill.

The scheme is expected to save 23 tonnes of carbon as well as the carbon dioxide. More than 200,000 kilowatt hours per year will be saved and Uttlesford's street lighting energy bill will be reduced by £15,000 - about 23 per cent.

The switch off is part of a pilot scheme following a decision taken last year.

The streets in Uttlesford have been chosen following discussions with district, parish and town councils and the emergency services.

These looked at safety concerns and appropriateness before the final locations were decided upon.

Despite Essex County Council's website claiming Saffron Walden would be included in the scheme, a spokesman confirmed that the town would not be switched off - yet.

Places like the alley between Peaslands Road and Old Mill Road, where students from Bell College were attacked recently, will continue to be lit all night.

County Cllr Norman Hume, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "As a council we take very seriously our responsibility to take local action on global environmental issues.

"The decision to pilot this scheme was taken last year by Essex County Council and will result in significant reductions in CO2 emissions.

"I am aware there have been some concerns about safety but I would like to reassure residents no decision around streets will be taken without consultation with the emergency services and the district council.

"We will be closely monitoring the pilot and as always listening to the views of local people.

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