Dorset street lights set to switch-off

Work is to begin in Dorset to convert street lights to switch off overnight.

Thousands of lights across the county are to be switched off between 0100 and 0630 BST, and from midnight to 0530 GMT in winter, in an attempt to save money.

Dorset County Council's contractors, Scottish and Southern Energy Contracting, will begin converting 1,300 lights in Dorchester on Monday.

The lights will only come back on in the morning if it is still dark. The changes are expected to take two weeks.

Contractors will install light sensors on the street lamps in nearly all of Dorchester's residential roads.

About 600 lights, including those on main roads, in the town centre and on roads with speed humps, will remain lit throughout the night.

The Conservative-run authority said it hoped to cut its annual lighting energy bill by 10%.

It said it was spending £1.87m a year on electricity powering its 42,000 street lights, signs and bollards.

The partial switch-off has already been trialled in some rural areas including Charmouth and Piddle Valley.

The council has said it needs to save £54.9m over the next three years.

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