Dear Mr Bradshaw
Part Night Lighting, Exeter
Thank you for your letter of 11 November 2014 regarding your constituent’s concerns about the operation of street lights in Exeter.
As part of the County Council’s to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption for street lights in Exeter, new switching controls are being installed that enable the street lights to be dimmed, or switched off, for part of the night. The lights can be controlled remotely from a computer, providing great flexibility to apply any changes quickly and easily.
The switching controls with the use of mobile phone type communication technology, using local area controllers, sub-controllers, and individual light controllers.
When the new equipment is first installed, the lights operate during the day until the area communication network has become established; this can take a day or two. These units have already been installed in Alphington, Cowick, Duryard, Exwick, St Davids, St James, and St Thomas, with the intention being to complete the remaining 11 wards by September 2015.
The operating system being used is computer based, but relies on good radio communications and in the main this has been successful, although there have been issues with areas or poor communication. The County Council has been working closely with the manufacturer to resolve these matters as quickly as possible.
Part-night operation, where the lights switch off between 00:30 and 05:30, began in the city in April of this year and there has not been any feedback from the police that issues of crime and personal safety have risen as a result,which reflects the outcome of part-night lighting implemented across Devon since 2009.
Part-night operations of street lights across Devon are under continual review, and as and when the police or any local council request that lighting is restored to all-night operation for crime or safety-related concerns, the County Council will consider carrying out the necessary changes.
A review meeting is currently being arranged with local councillors and police to discuss the effect of the policy in the first 4 wards to have part-night lighting in Exeter, namely Alphington, Cowick, Exwick, and St Thomas.