Powys County Council, which is run by Independents, is saving £225,000 and reducing it's carbon footprint 1,100 tonnes by turning off more than 9,000 street lights. The measure will also have the advantage of reducing light pollution. Opportunistically the Lib Dems have scaremongered about safety risks. But across the country there is often more street lighting than is necessary. Other Councils are thinking of following Powys's lead.
Local services board member Cllr Gwilym Evans said: “The council is responsible for more than 14,000 street lights on county roads and is facing huge increases in energy costs at a time when budgets are under increasing pressure.
“We had considered moving to part-night lighting and other measures to tackle the budget problem, but the scale of energy cost increases and time required to carry out the work has meant taking a more radical approach.
“The board decided the only way to keep within budget with the scale of increases was to switch off the majority of lights in some areas. That work has now started.
“Sensitive areas such as those covered by CCTV, pedestrian and zebra crossings, traffic calming measures, near hospitals, medical centres and sheltered housing or with known problems will not be affected.”