Street lights part-night switch-off set to begin

From next week some street lights in Leeds will start being switched off for part of the night in order to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.

Over the next three years a programme of works will be carried out which when completed will mean 8,000 of the city’s 92,000 street lights will be switched off between midnight and 5:30am.

The part night-time switch-off will bring about savings of approximately £1.3million over 10 years and reduce street lighting carbon emissions by 4.7 per cent a year.

The project will begin in outer areas of the city, starting in Garforth and Swillington then Adel and Wharfedale, Otley and Yeadon. The team will then work inwards until they reach the city centre, which will not be affected. The work will be carried out in two phases, with the first phase seeing approximately 3,250 lights on main traffic roads being switched off.

The second phase of the programme will see the team repeat the process but this time turning off a total of 4,750 lights on residential streets.

A partnership made up of Leeds City Council, emergency services, crime reduction, community safety and road safety representatives has carried out risk assessments to decide which lights in each area should be switched off. A public consultation exercise was also conducted between February and April this year to influence the proposal.

Leeds City Council executive member for the economy and development Councillor Richard Lewis said:

“While the primary reason for doing this is to save money and help cut carbon emissions, we would like to stress that road safety and the impact on crime remains of the utmost importance.

“The assessments over which lights can be switched off and which can’t have been thorough and conducted by a team effort involving the judgements of all key stakeholders as well as the feedback received from the public.

“We hope people will not really notice much of a difference, but it is important to say we do have the flexibility to turn the lights back on again if major problems arise; we do hope though that will not be necessary.”

A strict criteria has been followed to determine which lights are switched off or not. Lights will not be switched off in the following locations:

• On roads with a significant road traffic accident record during the switch-off period.

• In areas with above average record of crime during the switch-off period.

• In areas with a police record of frequent anti-social behaviour during the switch-off period.

• In areas provided with CCTV local authority/police surveillance equipment.

• In areas with sheltered housing and other residences accommodating vulnerable people.

• In areas around 24hr operational emergency services sites including hospitals.

• At formal pedestrian crossings, subways, and enclosed footpaths and alleyways where one end links to a street that is lit all night.

• In areas where there are potential hazards on the highway such as roundabouts, central carriageway islands, chicanes and traffic calming features.

• Where bus stops are in use during the switch-off period.

The impact of the switch-off will be closely monitored, with the option being available to turn lights back on should there be any adverse effect on road safety or crime levels.

Warning signs will be placed to give people advance notice of the switch-off and road markings will be upgraded or installed in switch-off areas to maintain safety.

In addition, the council and Safer Leeds will provide advice to communities on precautions to protect themselves and their properties if they are significantly concerned about the switch-off. Similar schemes have been adopted in many other parts of the country in recent years.

More information about the switch-off will be available at www.leeds.gov.uk/sles or by emailing Highways@leeds.gov.uk or calling 0113 222 4407.


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 5472

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk