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By Editor Tarvin Webteam - 8th November 2013 6:30am
The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network is working with national personal safety charity Suzy Lamplugh Trust to find out about cuts to local services- particularly street lighting- and how they relate to people's feelings of safety where they live.
Across Britain, councils are switching off or dimming street lamps, plunging millions of people into darkness, to try to accommodate some of the imposed budget cuts. In one survey some 98 of 134 councils questioned (73%) said that they had switched off or dimmed lights, or were planning to.
There seems to be no information on the CWaC website about the policy of our Local Authority on this topic. However when budgets have to be cut then eventually all elements can come under the spotlight- so to speak!
In towns lights were often dimmed after midnight, whilst most rural lights were turned off off completely after midnight.
Although the measures are predicted to save money in the long term, they will cost far more to implement. The cost of installing sensors/dimmers in one instance has been estimated as about 5 times the annual saving.
This cost, of course, does not take into account the additional cost if there are any increased crime rates, vandalism or antisocial behaviour. It's also comforting for people, especially if they arrive back from somewhere in the night not to be met with total darkness.
The presence of lighting not only reduces the risk of traffic accidents but also their severity. Surveys have show that the public are in favour of street lighting as a way of improving road safety and that, if anything, it needs to be improved in some areas.
The AA, has stated that most accidents happen in the dark.
One survey found that 70% of the motorway network is now unlit at night, saving the Highways Agency some £400,000 last year and reducing carbon emissions.
The survey found that 3,080 miles of motorways and trunk roads in England are now completely unlit. We have all probably experienced the on/off nature of lighting today on some of our motorways..
So we seem to be balancing economic and environmental reasons against safety reasons when considering how much lighting needs to be available
We are so used to a reasonable level of lighting in our streets. When we suddenly lose all lights as we did in the power failure last Friday across parts of Tarvin we realise how inhospitable it can be on a winter's night without lights.
One village is on record as saying that they would be willing to pay more rates to keep some of the lights on! If Tarvin had to choose about its lighting level what would we say ?
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