DCC response to Ben Bradshaw’s letter about part-night street lighting

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.

2 thoughts on “DCC response to Ben Bradshaw’s letter about part-night street lighting

  1. Ben Bradshaw response [08 January 2015]

    Thank you for your letter of 17 December 2014 in reply to my enquiry regarding part-night street lighting [PNSL]. I continue to hear many concerns from residents about PNSL

    Thank you for the helpful details you have supplied about the roll-out and technical issues of the scheme. Rather than turning the lights off and installing complex technology which has proven problematic, as well as being confusing to the public, has Devon County Council looked into low energy, high efficiency lighting alternatives, successfully introduced elsewhere, so we can have the streets lit and the public feeling safer after dark, while money can be saved and CO2 emissions reduced. I understand that Government funding is available for this. I would be grateful for your comments.

    Please keep me updated on the installation of the controls and planned roll-out of PNSL across Exeter. I await with interest the outcomes of the meeting ith local councillors and police to review the scheme.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    With very best wishes,

    Ben Bradshaw MP


  2. Ben Bradshaw copied DCC letter to concerned residents with this covering letter:


    Further to my letter of [date], I enclose a copy of the response I have received from Devon County Council regarding part-night-street lighting [PNSL].

    While I am pleased that Devon County Council has finally begun to provide some information on the roll-out and problems encountered with the PNSL scheme, you may share my concern that insufficient consideration has been given to issue raised by local residents about public safety and security and to calls by Labour councillors in Exeter and myself for a pause and an urgent review.

    I am disappointed that no mention has been made of my call for Devon to look at Government supported low energy, high efficiency lighting alternatives, successfully introduced elsewhere, so e can have the street lit and they can save money and reduce CO2 emissions. I have written to Devon County Council again to ask for their reconsideration of this safer, greener option.

    I am pleased that Devon County Council is planning a meeting with local councillors and police, and I await the outcome of these discussions with interest.

    I hope that this is helpful. Please be assured that I will continue to support residents in alerting Devon County Council of their concerns about PNSL in Exeter. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to get in touch if I can be of any further assistance.

    With very best wishes

    Ben Bradshaw MP


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