Streetlight trial set to continue
Trials to cut carbon emissions by switching off some streetlights for part of the night in South Gloucestershire are set to continue.
Following the success of the first phase of the trial in Charfield, a switch off trial for the Ring Road is planned to start 1 February.
A selection of streetlights along the length of the Ring Road will be switched off for a 4.25 hour period between midnight and 5am, but will only include those along straight stretches of road – lights around junctions and roundabouts will remain working throughout the night.
Cllr Heather Goddard, executive member for communities, said: “As a council, we have set ourselves ambitious targets to reduce our carbon footprint by three per cent year on year and street lighting energy is a significant contributor to this footprint.
“Given that energy prices are projected to keep on rising, we also want to make sure that we keep the cost to the council tax payer as low as possible.
“It is important to stress that not all lights on the ring road will be switched off. For example, those on the approaches to major junctions and roundabouts will be left on throughout the night.
“As always, road safety remains a top priority for us which is why road lining along the ring road has been refreshed and work has been done to the vegetation along parts of the adjacent cycle track and footways to ensure clear visibility is maintained and optimum use is made of natural light.
“Additional inspections will be carried out throughout the trial.”
She added: “Switching off street lights for part of the night has been trialled by other local authorities.
“The indications from those authorities, as well as from our own trial in Charfield, is that the switch-offs have been successful.
“If such success is repeated on the ring road, then we hope to roll-out the switch-off more widely, once we have worked with local communities to identify which lights could be switched off safely.”
Councils across the country have initiated schemes to switch off some streetlights at night to reduce carbon emissions, save energy and costs and reduce light pollution.
With a target to reduce its own carbon footprint by three per cent each year, and streetlighting contributing to approximately 20 per cent of its carbon footprint last year, South Gloucestershire Council embarked on a pilot part night light switch off last summer.
Also energy costs are rising – currently it costs £1.6m to power all the streetlights in the district.
By switching off just 350 of the 1000 street lights along the Ring Road for a few hours a night, carbon emissions could be slashed by as much as 76 tonnes per annum while also reducing the costs by £12,000 per annum.
Several other parishes have already shown an interest in taking part, should the scheme be extended following the trial.
The scheme would only be extended to areas where full consultation was carried out in advance with the local town or parish council, police, the fire brigade and other partners. Only when there was agreement between organisations would that area be considered to take part in the trial.
A monitoring system will be put in place and if there are any issues then the streetlights would be simply switched back on.
Source: South Gloucestershire Council
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