Call to switch off traffic lights at night in Devon

Image caption, Dimmer switches already reduce power usage

A Devon councillor says traffic lights should be turned off at night.

Percy Prowse, vice chairman of Exeter and the county's joint highways Committee (Hatoc), says they are unnecessary at quieter times.

He also says turning them off from 8pm to 6am would reduce the £100,000-a-year power cost.

A working party of councillors is due to report on the matter to Hatoc in November.

Former policeman Mr Prowse told BBC News: "I returned from Bournemouth airport last September and when I got to Middlemoor in Exeter at one thirty in the morning the lights changed to red, yet I was the only one there.

"Why should they be on? They should be turned off at eight o'clock and on again at six o'clock."

Transport for London is already considering scrapping 145 traffic lights and Bristol has experimented with turning off lights.

But an engineer's report to Devon County Council's Highways Committee in January said a 1989 experiment to turn a small number of traffic lights off at night led to more accidents.

It also said pedestrians using crossings linked to the lights could be in danger.

The county council already uses dimmer switches to cut power use at night.

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