Council’s light work

PUBLISHED: 11:33 22 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:43 06 May 2010

SWITCHING off street lights between midnight and 5am could get the go-ahead in Herts if a similar scheme in Essex is successful. Last year Essex County Council backed a plan to cut the number of hours street lights are on to reduce light pollution and to

SWITCHING off street lights between midnight and 5am could get the go-ahead in Herts if a similar scheme in Essex is successful.

Last year Essex County Council backed a plan to cut the number of hours street lights are on to reduce light pollution and to conserve energy.

The plan, which has yet to come into force, has created divisions throughout the county with concerns being raised about whether it would make the streets less safe.

According to Cllr Derrick Ashley from Hitchin, Herts County Council could adopt the scheme in the future.

Cllr Ashley said: "We would

look at doing something similar to Essex County Council and we would be looking at trying it in one or two towns. One or two have already said they would be interested in looking at the scheme"

Cllr Ashley said that presently local authorities are looking at reducing their carbon footprints and making themselves more efficient when it comes to energy use.

"Here is an issue on saving energy and we are looking at our environmental policies in light of us signing the Nottingham Declaration," Cllr Ashley said.

In signing the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change, the council has pledged to tackle the causes and effects of changing climate.

Cllr Ashley brought up the subject of street lights during the discussion after Saturday's screening of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

During the discussion a member of the audience asked whether solar-panelled street lights - which charge up during hours of daylight and keep the lights lit at night - was an option, but Cllr Ashley said there was an issue with the amount of hours of sun during winter months.

Asked whether a hybrid solution was available, which would use solar power during the summer and electricity from the national grid during the winter, Mr Ashley said: "Hybrid-type solutions are one thing we can look at but we can't look at it overnight. There are 130,000 street lights in Hertfordshire and that would be a big task.


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