Crow joins forces in street lights campaign

PUBLISHED: 10:55 21 March 2012

Around 9,000 street lights will go out across North Herts.

Around 9,000 street lights will go out across North Herts.

Archant

A group has joined The Crow campaign to make Herts County Council rethink plans to plunge streets into darkness overnight.

Last week we began our Switch On to the Switch Off campaign to put pressure on the authority not to implement its planned part night lighting scheme which risks increasing crime, the fear of crime and accidents.

Around 9,000 street lights across North Herts will be switched off from midnight to 6am from mid May as part of a county-wide initiative to cut £600,000 a year from HCC’s electricity bill.

Lights will be left on where CCTV cameras are in operation, in town centres and other civic areas with a significant night time economy, at junctions, roundabouts, crossings and traffic calming installations, as well as on roads with a history of night time accidents County Hall said.

A Facebook group has been set up as well as an online petition on the council website to put a stop to the scheme or agree what they call an eco-friendly, cost-beneficial compromise. Called Turn Our Street Lights Back On, the campaign is a county-wide movement.

Campaign leader Daniel Graham said the lighting plan is unworkable, unsustainable and untested and there are many alternative options that could be considered.

“Unfortunately Hertfordshire County Council didn’t see fit to even bother discussing this initiative with us and completely disrespected the entire community of one million residents living in Herts,” he added.

“We want the lights back on or a compromise agreed for reasons of health and safety, practicalities of those out and about, wellbeing of the community and individuals, and crime prevention - whether the fear of crime is perceived or actual.

“We do understand that some people want to see the stars, however our stance is aimed more at protecting the health and safety of residents in our communities and looking after those who are out and about e.g. shift workers such as nurses, carers, milkmen, young people coming back from nights out, those using late night public transport.”

Lights in pockets around the county where the initiative has been rolled out went off four-and-a-half hours early this week at 7.30pm. Herts County Council said the fault could be linked to the change to British summer time next weekend.

To join the campaign, go to https://consult.hertsdirect.org/petitions/petition?petition_id=26045

and www.facebook.com/#!/groups/189605187792781/

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