As we are seeing cost cutting across the country in various forms it is good to see one that actually makes sense and is green!
The local councils have finally agreed a timetable on a scheme to dim or switch off thousands of street lights in Nottinghamshire. The project, which involves 93,000 lights and is expected to save in the region of £1m a year. The program will start in villages in the Misterton area this December, it with then be extended to the Bingham area in January and Bassetlaw and Rushcliffe districts by December 2011.
Other provisional dates are Newark & Sherwood and Gedling districts by November 2012, then the Mansfield and Broxtowe districts by November 2013 and finally the Ashfield district by March 2014. (not quite sure why it takes so long to put in place in these districts?)
As one would expect of our paranoid local authorities a risk assessment will be done for every light and the most appropriate option used (dim, switch off or leave on). Many lights will not be altered, including those near hospitals and accident black spots, the council are working closely with the emergency services and will monitor the project to make sure crime and collision rates do not rise.
Some lights will be dimmed between 2000 and 0700, others dimmed between midnight and 0530 and some switched off entirely – changes which could cut energy use by 25%.
As well as saving money, the scheme will cut carbon emissions and light pollution.
This all has to make sense – for years we have left the lights burning away at night on our streets – and for whom? Cutting power use, light pollution and generally giving us back the darkness has to be applauded!