OSWESTRY will be plunged into darkness after the town council agreed to switch off its street lights.
The changes would be implemented between midnight and 5.30am across all council-maintained highways, but car parks and associated pedestrian routes will remain under 24-hour illumination.
Inefficiency, finances, and the issues faced by a two-tier system are behind the decision which was recommended by the Street Lighting Review Group.
It’s comes as Oswestry is already set to lose some street lighting later this year as part of Shropshire Council’s countywide part-night light burning scheme.
In a report to members of the Development and Planning Committee on Wednesday, the group stated: “It is considered that the service is no longer efficient due to the need to move to part-night lighting and alleviating the risk to Shropshire Council due to environmental penalties should the Change Agenda not be introduced.
“In terms of whether the service is effective then in part it is but unless the Town Council changes to part-night lighting itself, then a two tier system will exist that will create confusion and two different operational management regimes.”
Any changes will be subject to consultation with West Mercia Police and ensure there is no impact on Oswestry’s CCTV system.
But members also agreed targets that will see the public gain the ability to report faulty lights online, as well as granting access ownership and maintenance of lights in Oswestry via the town council’s website, while the council has been asked to look at using LED (light emitting diode) options to light its own buildings at night.
The contract for the street lighting, which was with Scottish Power, is currently up for tender.
Weekly inspections are also going to be reduced resulting in night patrols taking place every four weeks during the Summer and Winter. Annual structural inspections of columns over 25 years old and underground electrical checks, and lamp cleaning every three years and an electrical inspection every six.
Councillor Heather Bickerton: “It is something that none of us [the council] want, but the circumstances make it that we have to.
“We will be maintaining the lights for CCTV purposes, that is important, and regrettably everywhere is in cutback and we are in the same position that you cut according to your clothes.
“We have got to be practical. We managed during the war extremely well and we have got to pull together until we are in better times. I am certain the lights will return in better times.”