STREETLIGHTS in Oswestry are to be switched off overnight.
Lighting columns maintained by Shropshire Council will be converted to ‘part-night lighting’ from Monday, January 6 to cut carbon emissions and save on energy bills resulting in blackouts between midnight and 5.30am.
About 12,500 streetlights across the county 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.
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.”
According to Shropshire Council it takes 7.7 million kilowatt-hours of power and 3,490 tonnes of carbon to run the authority’s 18,500 streetlights, illuminated signs and traffic signals every year, 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 per cent, a saving of 1.56 million kilowatt-hours of power and almost 812 tonnes of carbon.
The plans were approved by the Cabinet in September 2011 following detailed discussion between Shropshire Council, police, town councils and parish councils.
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.
To see which lights are due to be converted and when visit shropshire.gov.uk/street-lighting/part-night-lighting