Views sought on part-night lighting plans for Exeter
Residents in Exeter are being invited to have their say on proposals for part-night street lighting in residential areas of the city through a series of public events and online consultation.
As part of the County Council’s on-going programme to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs, street lights in some residential areas of the city could be switched off overnight, between about 12:30am and 5:30am, before coming on again, until dawn. However, lighting on main roads (A and B roads), areas of high night-time activity and walking home routes will remain lit all night.
Devon County Council has been gathering the views of local county councillors, Exeter city councillors and the Police in order to help shape plans, and now want to hear what the whole community think.
The consultation will run for a six week period from Monday 23 September until Sunday 3 November, and includes public meetings and exhibitions where residents can find out about the background and reasoning behind the part-night lighting initiative, and discuss any concerns they may have.
The public meetings will enable local people to hear about the proposals and speak directly to officers. These will be held between 5pm and 8pm on:
3 October, at Methodist Hall, Burnthouse Lane, Exeter, EX2 6NG (across road from Wonford Community Centre).
8 October, at Whipton Community Hall. Pinhoe Road, Exeter, EX4 8AD.
14 October, at Stoke Hill Junior School. Stoke Hill, Exeter. EX4 7DP
16 October, at St Thomas Community Centre – Church Road, Exeter, EX2 9AX
Public exhibitions will also be held, enabling residents to see the proposals and provide feedback. These will be held between 23 September and 3 November, at:
Exwick Community Centre. Kinnerton Way, Exeter, EX4 2PR, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 10am to 12pm; on Tuesdays from 7pm to 9pm; and on Thursdays from 5pm to 8:30pm (tbc)
Heavitree Social Club. Wingfield Park, 2 East Wonford Hill, Exeter, EX1 3BS, from 29 September to 1 October only, from 5pm until closing time.
Isca Centre. Summer Lane, Exeter, EX4 8NT.
Central Library. Castle Street, Exeter, EX4 3PQ.
Topsham Library. Nelson Close, Topsham, Exeter, EX3 0DX.
County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter. EX2 4QD.
Residents can also submit their views online, via a dedicated website about the part-night streetlight scheme at www.devon.gov.uk/streetlighting
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said:
“This consultation is an important opportunity for people to have their say, and tell us their views.
“There has been lots of interest in these proposals, and naturally people have a lot of questions, so I would encourage residents to make every effort to come along to one of the public meetings or exhibitions taking place across the city and get involved in the process by providing us with your feedback. We particularly want to hear from people who think that they could be negatively impacted by the proposals to understand what measures may need to be put in place to address any concerns.
“There is also the option to find out more and submit comments and suggestions online through our dedicated part-night lighting website, which is great news for those who might not be able to make it to one of the events.
“This scheme is progressing well in other parts of Devon, and we have made excellent savings in terms of cost and carbon emissions. We are keen to achieve the same results in Exeter, but we appreciate that plans for the city need careful consideration.
“For example, busy areas of the city centre and main roads will remain lit all night and we are also aiming to develop a network of busy “walking home routes” which will remain lit all night.
“We have worked hard to engage with key stakeholders such as local councillors, Police and the Students’ Guild, at the earliest possible opportunity while plans were being drawn up, and their views have given us a solid starting point on which to consult further, so that we can produce a scheme in which we will all have been able to play a part.”
Since January 2010, over 35,000 streetlights across Devon have been converted to part night lighting. This has already saved around 4,000 tonnes of CO2 and approximately £1.2 million from the Council’s electricity bill. Part night lighting is part of a wider package of carbon saving measures, which also includes night dimming and the use of low energy equipment and LED technology where appropriate.
The County Council will be investing in an advanced lighting system in Exeter to remotely control key areas of street lighting in the city. This system would allow much more flexibility in the operation of street lights by providing direct control of every light connected to the system.
Devon County Council is responsible for nearly 77,000 street lights, costing £2.2million in electricity and producing nearly 20,000 tonnes of CO2 every year. That accounts for around 30% of the County Council’s annual emissions of almost 62,000 tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of the total annual energy use of 7,300 average Devon homes, or a town about the size of Honiton in East Devon.