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Street lighting - energy reduction programme

We're working on a four-year programme to reduce our street lighting energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

In 2013-14 the cost of electricity for our street lighting was about £2.1 million. Savings of almost £400,000 a year are expected and by reducing our carbon emissions the street lighting element of the carbon tax paid to the government by will be cut by 28 per cent.

There are over 62,000 street and footway lights in North Yorkshire and we are responsible for around 50,000 of them. The remaining 12,000 lights belong to borough, district or parish councils (with the exception of Hambleton) and are not affected by this scheme.

Street lighting options

There are three options for reducing street lighting across the county.

  • Part-night lighting
    Street lights in North Yorkshire currently switch on at dusk and off at dawn. The new policy will see up to 60 per cent of our street lights switching off in the early hours of the morning between midnight and 5am, when road use is at a minimum.
  • Dimming
    We plan to install dimming technology in some of our brighter lanterns. This will reduce the level of illumination when road use is at a minimum and reduce energy consumption by 15 per cent. We expect that this will affect about four per cent of our street lights.
  • Removal of street lighting
    This will only take place in areas where road safety will not be compromised and is likely to affect less than two per cent of the street lights in North Yorkshire.

The part-night lighting scheme commenced in Harrogate and Knaresborough in August 2012 followed by Scarborough and Hambleton in 2013. The programme will continue into Richmondshire in 2014 and extend through the rural areas of Harrogate and Scarborough, into Ryedale, Craven, Selby and the rest of the county until completion in 2016.

We will ensure that crime, disorder and road safety issues are considered before decisions are made. The scheme is monitored and we are committed to respond to any alert by the police to rises in relevant crime in areas where part-night lighting has been introduced. To date, the police have not asked for any lights to be reviewed.

Areas that will not be affected

  • Lights operated by borough, district or parish councils (except for Hambleton district);
  • Main traffic routes and road junctions (dimming of streetlights may be introduced if appropriate);
  • Locations with a significant night-time road traffic accident record;
  • Potential hazards in the highway such as traffic calming, speed humps and road crossings (except in 20mph zones)
  • Parts of town centres that have concentrated night-time activity or economy;
  • Areas covered by council or police CCTV operations;
  • Areas with 24-hour operational emergency services, including hospitals;
  • Lights outside sheltered housing and other residences accommodating vulnerable people; and
  • Areas with a significant record of relevant night-time crime or anti-social behaviour.

All roads will have had a review carried out by our road safety team and the police as part of the risk assessment before any lights are switched off. Any concerns raised from the review will be considered and a decision made as to whether the lights will be included in the changes.

We estimate that about 1,000 lights will be dimmed, 500 will be switched off, and up to 30,000 will be converted to part-night operation.

Find out what alterations are proposed for where you live below on our interactive map. Comments can be submitted using our online form.

Street lighting - energy reduction programme - frequently asked questions

This page was last updated on 6 October 2015