Thousands more lights to go out

THOUSANDS more street lights are set to be turned off or dimmed at night as part of the final phase of a cost-cutting and energy-saving scheme.

North Somerset Council has entered the third stage of its big switch-off, which by the end of it, will see 14,200 lights turned off from midnight to 5am in winter and 1-6am in summer, and a further 2,500 dimmed.

The authority hopes to achieve annual savings of �300,000 but many have already questioned the move to turn off lights.

With 8,700 lights across the district already switched off overnight, the council is now concentrating on the final 5,600, or 26 per cent.

Any road with traffic signals, pedestrian crossings and highlighted roundabouts and junctions will remain lit as will town centres with concentrated night-time activity, highways with potential hazards, areas with high crime or accident records, where vulnerable people are housed and entrance and exits to 24-hour emergency service sites.

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Since the council began its switch-off, numerous concerns have been raised about the scheme.

A petition, which has now collected more than 880 signatures, was launched following the death of the Clevedon soldier, Edward Heal, on Christmas Day.

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He was involved in a road accident in the early hours of the morning and his family believe the driver involved had no hope of seeing him due to the darkness.

Portishead Town Council has already written to ask the council to reconsider its decision after a number of residents raised safety concerns.

On February 22, Clevedon Town Council also agreed to write to North Somerset Council to ask it to investigate improving street lighting at night by alternating those which are switched off or using lower energy lights.

In answer to concerns, North Somerset Council has previously said the decision to carry out part-night lighting was carefully considered and investigated before implemented.

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