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Street Lighting Energy Saving Initiative

Worcestershire County Council (WCC) currently spends £2.4 million each year on illuminating street lights and signs. Street lighting also accounts for 19% of the County Council’s carbon dioxide emissions and also incurs an additional cost of £12 per tonne, payable to central Government.

The Street Lighting Energy Saving Initiative is reducing 66% of the street lighting in side streets between the hours of midnight and 6am, (Greenwich Meantime) throughout Worcestershire. The aim is to save £500,000 per year to assist with necessary overall County Council savings.

Following a successful trial period in Droitwich Spa, Cabinet decided in February 2014 to expand the initiative throughout Worcestershire.

WCC uses its power under the Highways Act to illuminate highways but it is not a statutory duty, and it can therefore make changes to lighting provision. The aim is to reduce the lighting hours of lightly used highways in both residential and industrial estate roads and lighting is being retained at junctions, bends and other key locations for road safety reasons.

The lights affected (on average two out of three) are designed to turn off between the hours of midnight and 6am (Greenwich Meantime). The newer, more cost effective lighting stock (for example LED lamps) are unaffected by the project. In the longer term, the County Council is installing LED lighting where a maintenance need arises so over time LED units will be fitted to all columns. These units will be lit all night.

WCC is working closely with West Mercia Police to monitor if there is any observed increase in traffic accidents or crime as a direct result of this initiative. From the trials that were carried out in Droitwich Spa and the experience gained from other areas where lighting has been reduced, there is no significant increase in crime or traffic accidents that can be attributed to reduced lighting.

The County Council recognises and understands that there is likely to be a fear of crime at the initial point that changes are made at a location, which is why we are working with the police to monitor and, if necessary, review the lighting in any particular area after implementation.

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How to contact us

If you would like to know more, please contact the Street Lighting Initiative Programme & Commissioning Team.