LETTER: My view is that the decisions about replacing street lights have not been properly thought through
Regarding your article about Soham lights, I would like to make the following comments.
Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC) is in fact not replacing the street lights with LED lights; it is replacing them with less efficient CFLs.
Had it used LEDs, enough money would have been saved to keep streetlights on all night within budget. Also, we may be looking at another expense later if they decide to upgrade to LEDs, a poor decision.
The decision on which streetlights to remove has not been properly thought out. In my street, which has a 30mph limit but measured traffic average speed of 48 mph, we are losing 22 percent of our street lights.
The three lights which we are losing make up 10 per cent of the proposed cuts of 30 lights in Soham. This hardly seems reasonable, as there are a lot more than 30 streets in Soham - why haven’t we just lost one each?
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I have to point out that CCC’s inventive funding proposals for keeping lights on at night are somewhat disadvantageous to the taxpayer - increase council tax every year for the last five years in spite of the government imposed freeze, then blackmail local councils to impose extra taxes via their precepts if they want to keep the lights on.
I note that CCC has blown away huge amounts of our money on unnecessary 20 mph speed limits in Cambridge, the guided bus way, and cycle ways which are only used by a few people.
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Street lighting throughout the night is an essential service that is used by everyone - so why isn’t the funding for it given priority? I don’t believe the glib statements that “accidents and crime won’t increase”, especially in remote rural areas.
Incidentally, I didn’t receive any consultation documentation nor did I receive an opportunity to object to these cuts - why not? On phoning the alleged help line to object I was told that the cuts were a done deal. We should be calling a halt to removal of street lights and to turning them off at night. I have tried, without success so far.
M R ROSE