North Tyneside street lights dimmed 'to save £200,000'

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Street lights across North Tyneside are to be dimmed in an effort to save more than £200,000 a year.

The council, led by Labour mayor Norma Redfearn, said all 30,800 lights would have devices fitted to allow them to be remotely dimmed by the end of 2014.

Officials stressed there were no safety implications and said trials had already been carried out in residential areas and on stretches of main road.

The new devices would allow lights to be dimmed by up to 50% after midnight.

Carbon footprint

A recent report showed said street lighting currently costs the authority £1.76m a year.

Mrs Redfearn said: "In these difficult financial times we are constantly looking at new ways to keep our spiralling energy costs down, protect the environment and ensure that our residents continue to feel safe and secure when they move around the borough.

"This new system, together with other energy saving measures we've introduced, will go a long way to drastically reducing our carbon footprint and slashing our energy costs."

John Harrison, cabinet member for the environment, added: "This system is cost-saving both to the environment and to our finances.

"By using technology enabled devices we will be able to control light levels allowing them to be sensibly dimmed, consistent with proper safety assessments."

In some other parts of the country where street lights have been dimmed or turned off as a cost-cutting measure some people have blamed the move for crimes that have happened in darkened areas.

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