Dark times for Worksop

Street lights in Worksop are to be switched off under plans to save money by Notts County Council.

Wednesday, 25th January 2012, 4:58 pm

The authority plans to turn off many street lights between midnight and 5.30am in residential areas, dim some on main roads between 10pm and 7am and switch of some entirely in remote areas. The move will save more than £1million a year and cut carbon emissions and light pollution.

The council says it will not alter lights near hospitals, accident black spots and areas with higher than average crime rates. They will also work closely with emergency services to ensure cime and collision rates don’t rise.

Residents now have until 29th February to comment on specific lights. They will be analysed to see if the plans should be amended and work could start on the lights a few weeks later.

Councillor Richard Jackson, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways, said: “People in the Worksop area now have the chance to tell us whether there are reasons why specific lights should not be altered, and we will continue to light crime and accident black spots and monitor the project carefully. Where similar projects have been carried out in other parts of the country, collisions and crime have not increased.”

The proposals have created concern among residents who fear the move could increase crime, while others feel it could be a good idea but only in certain areas.

Charlie Harrison said: “It is a stupid idea the crime rate will go sky high with everything. It will give people more opportunity to rob and mug people out in the streets and house because nobody will be able to see what’s happening. Just think of the people that work nights or early morning that have to be out at that time nobody will feel safe leaving their homes.”

Amanda Dobb had concerns for people who worked unsociable hours and felt the council were not thinking about the working public or the elderly.

Matt Bateman said in principle it was a good way to save money without adding to residents tax bills. But he added: “In reality it’s asking for a raise in muggings and burglaries. Society today is full of filth, and nowhere more so than our marvellous drug infested town. Basically reduce the light bill increase the crime rate.”

Steve Page suggested fitting sensors to the lights so they come on when people are walking down the streets. They could be paid for by the money saved on electricity, he added.

Kev Woodcock agreed with switching off lights that are not needed. He added: “Residential areas should be left alone for peoples safety. Main roads, at night are fine, cars have headlights, where a bus route is nearby, bus stops etc, folks should have light provided and feel safe. Jobs are hard enough come by at the moment people should not be placed in fear or feel intimidated while travelling to them.”

The proposals have been published at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/streetlightingchanges and are available for viewing in Worksop Library and at Worksop Town Hall.