Street lights to stay on until 2am instead of midnight in Ely and surrounding villages

Street light turned off at night

Street light turned off at night - Credit: Archant

Street lights in the Ely area will be left switched on until 2am instead of a planned cut off at midnight - at a cost of an extra £98,000.

Members of county highways and community infrastructure made the decision after hearing the results and proposals of a public survey.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor Roger Hickford, Chairman of Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee, said: “In an ideal world we would not want to turn off street lights.

“However, with the recent announcement by Government we now have to find an extra £11 million on top of the £41 million we have already had to save for 2015/16.

“After listening to what people have said about street lighting, we proposed and unanimously agreed to extend the period that street lights stay on to 2am.”

The council planned to make £41 million in savings but recent Government announcements means this now could be as much as £52 million.

Now, the council is looking to follow the lead of more than 60 councils across the country, which have already turned off or dimmed street lights, which would have saved around £260,000 from an annual cost of over £1.4m a year.

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Around nine councils, including Cambridge City Council, have come forward to offer to fund the lights staying on after the proposed switch off time.

The committee recommends:

• To increase the period of streetlight dimming (8pm or 10pm until 6am) to all times and turning off lighting not on main traffic routes between 2am and 6am where it is controlled by the council’s central management system;

• The council is not proposing to turn off lighting on main traffic routes, where CCTV cameras are present, where there are any statutory requirements or where they support night time economy.

• The committee heard that the changed time means the council would have to find an extra £98,000.

A recent report shows that where this approach of dimming or turning off streetlights has been taken elsewhere, there is no evidence to suggest a link with increases in crime or detrimental impact on safety.