14 December 2010

Some street lighting in non urban areas of Northamptonshire may be turned off as the county council seeks to make savings of £68 million in the next financial year.

About 80 per cent of the lights in areas with a speed limit of 40mph and above could be switched off to bring savings to the authority’s electricity bill and maintenance costs.

In addition other changes to the current policy, such as ceasing after dark inspections and the removal of some columns will also take place. It is anticipated that these changes in policy will save the authority £1 million.

Cllr Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for highways, minerals and waste, said: “The idea of turning off street lights has been touted nationally for some time now and increasingly we’re seeing authorities around the country turning off street lights as a way of saving money.

“Whereas there are a lot of savings to be made by turning off lights there are also concerns raised with regard to safety.

“However we’re proposing to keep lights on in urban areas and focus on roads where population numbers are much lower.

“Being faced with making such massive savings means that we have had to consider every one of the services which we provide and I believe that this is an area where, with some careful planning, we can make cost reduction with minimal impact.”