An Extra Hour Of Streetlights





The Echo reports here that the previously intractable County Council have agreed to leave streetlights on for an extra hour – until 1 am – except for Monday mornings. the Echo report begins as follows:

Essex County Council has announced street lights will remain on until 1am for six days each week.
The change to the part night lighting scheme, which currently sees lights off from midnight to 5am daily, was announced at a cabinet meeting this morning.
The change is designed to have a positive impact on the night-time economy in urban areas and benefit commuters.
But the previous midnight to 5am switch off will remain in place on Monday mornings, due to earlier closing hours and limited commuter travel.
The changes will come into place from Monday, to coincide with the start of British Summer Time.
Essex County Council says it is on track to save ?1.4m per annum by the end of the current financial year.
Rodney Bass, Essex County Council cabinet member for transportation, said: ?We have taken the decision to change the operating hours of part night lighting because of the positive impact it will have for the night time economy in our main towns…..

Regarding the ‘night-time economy’ – this news will be welcomed by some of our residents who like to enjoy a late evening out and then want to walk home safely. It may also help residents who have been out in London for the evening and arrive back at Rayleigh, Hockley or Rochford stations after midnight.

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  • Are Essex CC not looking at this the wrong way round ,they should be embarking on changing all lamps to low energy LED lights which will save a fortune in energy whenever they are on and the life expectancy of the bulbs is ten fold greater. Also they may get a lovely little award for how green they are so win /win and somebody will get a photo shoot with a plaque. All they need to do is plan to have it all completed within 3 years ,possibly even European funding is available.

  • Martin. It isn’t money that is the issue with the lights. What most people don’t know is the decision was mainly due to a European Directive re Carbon Emissions. ECC had to meet certain targets and rather than insulate all the schools (virtually impossible due to designs/ put a monitor on and see the heat loss from any public building) they did the easy option and decided to throw the switch on the street lights. That is why they won’t take up Harlow etc. offer of cash to put them back on. I wonder how many injury claims they will get due to broken paving everywhere?

  • Apparently, from an Officer Report, Essex County Council has NO OBLIGATION to provide Street Lighting.

    But it has provided street lighting and it would only have done so on the basis of need so to withdraw it must surely place Essex County Council legally liable for any consequences of doing so.

  • Think this comes under the heading of progress , a long time ago there was none, then oil lamps, then gaslights and ultimately electricity made it a practical answer.

    So answer to what ? , and at each stage the answer was based on safety ( first the
    footpaths then ,with the coming of widespread transport the roads ) so a safety feature.

    Yes ,the early hours level of traffic is lower and therefore the level of risk is less – but
    there is still a level of risk , so someone / somewhere has the responsibility /liability. for that decision.
    decision –

  • John Mason @ 3, there is no law in the United Kingdom that forces any authority to provide any form off street lighting. I believe street lighting has become an issue where people have had it for so long that it is expected.

  • Jim@7, you have neatly avoided the question….I personally do not believe that there has been any adverse effects since the switch off despite the previous predictions of doom but maybe others have facts that prove me wrong.

    And since you ask I think 23.567 accidents would warrant them being put back on, ask a silly question….

  • Does anyone know please (genuine questions).

    Why were the street lights previously on all night?

    What was the perceived need?

    Was the decision to have street lights on all night a hideously bad decision?

  • I reason the accident that cost the life of a young man on the Hockley Road might have been partly caused by lack of lights. It happened on a bend that is often taken at speed, that has standing water after rain that causes icy patches that are easier to spot when the roads are lit. I personally am deeply unhappy by the switch off. On several occasions I have had to leave home after midnight due to family medical emergencies and have felt very vulnerable. The possibility of accidents in the dark unlit streets must be more likely. I worry about youngsters that have to get home after a night out with friends, the nurses leaving Wards, the ambulances trying to find the houses of the sick and so many more instances where lights are essential. Please put them back on ECC.

  • And ,if I might say so ,an excellent body swerve by yourself Oz – and no I am not party to statistics by whoever has them ? . What I do know ( attending my 93 year Mum at
    2:15am ) is that it is much darker than I had imagined without street lights, quite off-putting in fact.

  • Linda @ 10, like you I do not know the facts behind the tragic accident in the Hockley Rd but I do know one thing for sure ( based on 38 years of accident free driving ) cars do not leave the road under normal conditions when driven properly at, or up to, the speed limit.

    As for your fears, yes they are understandable but they appear to be groundless UNLESS somebody can support them with facts and at the moment they seem in short supply.

    Jim@11, looks like another draw mate…

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