Caistor

Lincolnshire market towns to have street lights switched off at midnight

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Market towns across Lincolnshire will have their street lights switched off from midnight until 6am from September.

Lincolnshire County Council will roll out what it describes as “a more cost-effective approach to street lighting” in the areas around Grantham, Sleaford, Caistor, Market Rasen and Louth.

The authority has said it wants to save £1.7 million from its annual £5 million street lighting budget.

Phased part-night lighting will continue to be introduced in residential areas, which will see lights turned on from dusk to midnight.

Lights will be switched off until 6am, with the measure affecting 38,000 street lights across Lincolnshire.

An additional 3,000 street lights in more rural areas have been identified for possible switch off, subject to further assessments.

A quarter of the county’s 68,000 lights will also be swapped for low-energy LED ones which can be dimmed.

The council has said that work already undertaken will save the authority over £400,000 per year.

Councillor Richard Davies, Executive Member for Highways and Transport at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The council’s budget has been cut by more than £100 million over the last few years, and we need to save a further £41 million this year.

“We simply can’t afford to do everything we’ve done in the past.

Street lights are expensive, and, frankly, many of them do not need to be on during the small hours of the morning – all they are doing is burning taxpayers’ money.

“The evidence shows that, by turning these lights off at times when there is less traffic, we can save money without affecting the majority of road users.

“And by saving money in this way, we can protect other vital areas, like the pothole budget.

“Of course, public safety remains an overriding concern, so at every location, we’ll give careful consideration to the effects of any reduction in lighting. In some places, changes won’t be appropriate, so we’ll keep things as they are.”