February 11, 2008
Street lights in suburban areas are to be switched off after midnight as part of council plans to save energy.
A series of trial blackouts will be carried out over the next few weeks by local authorities in the Home Counties, Hampshire and Essex among others.
Buckinghamshire council is reported to be switching off more than 1,700 lights along 25 miles of road in an attempt to meet energy targets.
It says the scheme will save £100,000 and reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 600 tons a year.
If the trials are successful, all street lamps across the country could be turned off between midnight and 5am.
Other areas taking part in the scheme include Maldon and Uttlesford in Essex, while parts of Hampshire have already carried out pilots.
Residents’ groups, police organisations and motoring groups have expressed fear that the darkness could cause increases in crime and road traffic accidents.
A spokesman for the Local Government Association said: “The councils are considering these schemes to both reduce their energy budget and cut down on emissions.
“Areas where street lights will be turned off will be on routes there is little need for them.”