A new policy – aimed at cutting Leeds City Council’s electricity bills and carbon emissions – has got the thumbs up from the general public, and now only needs a rubber stamp from senior councillors at a meeting next week.
If that approval is forthcoming, 8,000 lights in the city (4,750 on residential streets, 3,250 on traffic routes) will be converted over the next three years so that they can be switched off between midnight and 05.30.
Assessment of which lights in which areas will get the switch-off capability will begin in August, with the first traffic route lights converted from October, says a report going to next Wednesday’s meeting (19th June) of Leeds City Council’s decision-making executive.
The conversion of streetlights in residential streets won’t get under way till March 2014.
“Changes will be monitored”
Pedestrian crossings, subways, some footpaths and alleyways, bus stops used between midnight and 05.30, roundabouts and traffic calming features will also be excluded.
“Any changes in street lighting provision will be monitored for its effect on crime and
road traffic accidents,” says the report.
“Incidence of crime and road traffic accidents will be monitored at six monthly intervals for the first two years at all sites to determine general trends,” it adds. “Reviews will be undertaken by the Street Lighting Partnership Group to determine any cause for concern and action to be taken.”
The public backing came in a consultation exercise carried out earlier this year – a survey in which 449 people took part.
Of 23 councillors who responded to a request for their views, nine were against, eight in favour, and six offered general observations neither for nor against.
The three-year programme to convert the lights will cost £376,643. Savings in electricity over 10 years will amount to £1,007,864, the report says.
According to the council, the city’s 92,000 street lights consume about £3.97 million of electricity every year.
All the city’s street lighting is run by commercial operator Tay Valley Lighting through a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract. A BBC report in 2011 said that following the introduction of the outsourced service, the cost of providing the light had doubled from £5.8m in 2005 to £14.4m in 2010.