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Street lighting - energy reduction programme

In April 2012, we began the implementation of a four-year street lighting energy reduction scheme. This scheme forms part of our overall carbon reduction management programme aimed at making North Yorkshire greener.

We are responsible for just over 50,000 street lights and in 2013-14 the cost of electricity for street lighting was about £2.1 million. This scheme will lead to a reduction in our street lighting energy consumption and the associated carbon emissions. Cash 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 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 4 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 2 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

  • 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 24hr 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.


Please note:

There may be intermittent timing issues with some part-night lights. As a result some street lights may switch off or on a few minutes earlier or later than expected. The affected lights will re-calibrate and resume normal working without manual interference within a few days. This is likely to be most noticeable when the clocks change from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time at the end of October. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Street lighting - energy reduction programme - frequently asked questions

This page was last updated on 25 September 2014