Coventry & Warwickshire

Warwickshire street lights set to be switched off

Some 39,000 street lights in Warwickshire are set to be turned off during part of the night under plans by the county council.

It is hoped £500,000 can be saved each year by turning off about 80% of the lights between 00:00 and 05:30, although initial costs will be £1.64m.

Councillor Peter Butlin said there would be a consultation and areas with CCTV would not be affected.

A neighbourhood watch spokesperson admitted they had "concerns".

The secretary of the Nuneaton and Bedworth Neighbourhood Watch Association, Heather Lowe, said the biggest concern amongst residents was that crime would increase.

She said: "I hope the authority is open to the suggestion to turn the lights back on if there is an increase in crime."

Ms Lowe added that she wanted areas where there was a "night-time economy" to remain unaffected.

Problems resolved

Mr Butlin from the Conservative-led authority said he hoped the system would be operational by April next year.

"The consultation process will be done during a period of this summer and the installation of all the equipment will be done over the winter," he said.

"We'll finish by spring 2013 and the idea is to start making the savings from then.

"We have got to get the public onside with this."

The Warwickshire village of Salford Priors has already had its lights turned off during part of the night for the past few months and chairman of the parish council, John Stedman, said the scheme had been a success.

"We had comments that crime would increase and anti-social behaviour would increase but in actual fact that's not been the case," Mr Stedman said.

"There's no evidence to say that there's been any crime increase at all throughout the area. Anti-social behaviour's actually dropped off because we did have a few problems which seem to have been resolved now."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites