Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire County Council street light switch-off delayed two hours

Before and after on The Grove in Lincoln
Image caption About 15,000 lights were to be turned of at 22:00 but will stay on until midnight

About 15,000 street lights will stay on for an extra two hours after a council u-turn over criticism of a money-saving decision to turn them off at 22:00.

Lincolnshire County Council started to reduce street lighting from April to save £1.77m of its annual budget.

A Lincoln resident said it was a "flawed policy from the start" causing people "anxiety and worry".

Councillor Richard Davies, said the reversal meant "there may be less potholes filled or cuts elsewhere".

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Dilys Jerman, whose street lights have already been turned off at 22:00 said: "I haven't been out after 10 o'clock because our street is so dark. I can't walk down it.

"It has altered completely what I do."

Image caption Councillor Richard Davies said "a huge number of lights" would still be turned off

'The policy is set'

Mr Davies, the council member responsible for the county's street lighting, said the council had gone "back to the drawing board" after criticism from residents.

The authority would still turn off "a huge number of lights at midnight" and there "won't be as many street lights in the county as there is now", he said.

Mr Davies previously said of the original decision "the policy is set".

The scheme called 'part-night' lighting was being introduced mainly in residential areas, the council said.

About 15,000 lights due to be turned of at 22:00 will now stay on until midnight.

A further 23,000 are due to be turned off midnight.

Outside of urban areas 3,000 street lights are to be switched off completely and 17,000 of the county's 68,000 lights will be swapped for low-energy LED ones to be dimmed at night.

The savings are to meet the need to cut £41m from the 2016/17 budget, said the council.

It is responsible for about 80% of the county's street lights.

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