Sidmouth street lights to be ‘switched off’

All of town’s residential areas effected

SCORES of Sidmouth street lights will be switched off in a bid to cut carbon emissions and save cash.

Lights in all of the town’s residential areas will be turned off from 12.30am to 5.30am as part of region-wide plans which Devon County Council (DCC) hopes will cut its electricity bill by �450,000 over three years.

Main roads and areas of high night time activity, like town centres, will remain illuminated- but lights will be ‘dimmed’ where possible.

“This programme forms part of the council’s carbon reduction and management strategy and contributes to our goal to make Devon greener,” said Councillor Stuart Hughes, DCC cabinet member of highways and transportation.

“Through switching lights off in mainly residential areas between half-past midnight and 5.30am, and dimming all other lighting, energy consumption, carbon emissions and energy costs are expected to reduce by a third.

“Over the next three years it is estimated that part-night lighting could save Devon 4,000 tonnes of CO2 and reduce its present energy bill by �450,000.”

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Areas such as part of the Esplanade, Station Road and Fore and Chapel Streets are among those that will remain lit all night, as will the A375 through Sidford and the A3052 and Sidford High Street.

Residential areas like Woolbrook, Winslade and Fortescue Roads and Arcot Park are among those that will switch to part-night lighting.

The conversion of lighting from all-night to part-night operation will be carried out over a five year period, says DCC.

The authority said nearly 18,000 street lights in Devon have already been converted to part-night lighting in the last year and that fears of increased levels of night crime have ‘not materialised.’

DCC’s annual energy cost for street lighting tops �2.2million.

A council spokesperson said pressures of rising energy prices and the need to reduce emissions to prevent dangerous climate change have driven the scheme- and that residents will get a better view of the night sky, moon and stars.