In the dark

Street lights will be turned off from midnight-5am across North Somerset to save cash and cut pollution.

STREET lights across North Somerset will be switched off during the night to save money and reduce pollution.

North Somerset Council is planning to turn off lights on a number of roads from midnight-5am.

Phase one will begin in the late spring and involve mainly rural routes. The scheme will be rolled out across the rest of the district later this year once the selected areas have been risk assessed.

Street lights will not be turned off in town centres, at locations where a significant number of road accidents have occurred during the night, where there is an above average record of crime, areas with CCTV or police surveillance equipment and sites near emergency services such as hospitals and fire stations.

Lights will also be kept on near pedestrian crossings, subways, enclosed footpaths, and alleyways and where there are potential hazards on the road such as roundabouts, islands, chicanes and speed bumps.

North Somerset Council is currently consulting with town and parish councils on the scheme, but much of the feedback has been positive so far.

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Nailsea Town Council clerk Ian Morrell said: “The town council supports the proposal in principal and on cost grounds.”

Councillors were concerned that the lights would be turned off on Clevedon Road, where the fire and ambulance stations are based, but North Somerset Council has confirmed three lights next to the stations will be left on throughout the night.

North Somersert is hoping to convert 9,000 of its 20,000 street lights to part-night operation, which will save it tens of thousands of pounds each year and help the council to reduce its carbon footprint by 30 per cent by 2014.

Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, the authority’s executive member for strategic planning and highways said: “We are obviously looking at reducing night street lighting across the whole district by switching them off or dimming them.

“This is on the back of successful trials done in the Weston area and on the A38. Not all the lights are suitable for dimming or switching off because of their age and technology, but we have an ongoing replacement programme and all new lights installed have the capacity to be switched off or dimmed.”

Lights will be switched off in Bucklands Batch, Station Road, Nailsea Park, Silver Street, Kings Hill, Watery Lane and Clevedon Road in Nailsea.

Tickenham Road, Northern Way, Central Way, Southern Way, Moor Lane, Kenn Road, Barns Ground Industrial Estate and

Walton Road in Clevedon.

Bristol Road, Clevedon Road and Weatherly Drive in Portishead and North Weston.

High Street, Mill Lane. Sheepway and Portbury Common in Portbury.

West Town Road, Station Road and Farleigh Road in Backwell.

Greenhill Road, Station Road, Hill Road, Sandford Road, Woodborough Road and Sidcot Lane in Winscombe and Sandford.

Rhodyate Hill, Bristol Road, Station Road, Weston Road, High Street and Brinsea Road in Congresbury.

Arnolds Way, North End, Frost Hill, Claverham Road and Bishops Road in Yatton and Claverham.

Main Road in Flax Bourton.

Clevedon Road in Wraxall and Tickenham.

Main Road in Brockley and Cleeve.

Main Road in Weston-in-Gordano.