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Street lighting energy reduction programme

In March 2016 we completed a four-year programme to reduce our street lighting energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

The cost of electricity for our street lighting was about £2.1 million. Final savings of almost £400,000 a year are expected and by reducing our carbon emissions the street lighting element of the carbon tax paid to the government will be cut by 28 per cent.

There are over 62,000 street and footway lights in North Yorkshire and we are responsible for just over 50,000 of them. The remaining 12,000 lights belong to borough, district or parish councils (with the exception of Hambleton) and were not affected by the scheme.

The part-night lighting scheme commenced in Harrogate and Knaresborough in August 2012, followed by Scarborough and Hambleton in 2013. The programme continued into Richmondshire in 2014 and extended through the rural areas of Harrogate, Scarborough and Ryedale. Craven and Selby districts were the last areas to be incorporated and were completed in March 2016.

We will ensure that crime, disorder and road safety issues are considered before decisions are made. The scheme is monitored and we are committed to respond to any alert by the police to rises in relevant crime in areas where part-night lighting has been introduced. To date, the police have not asked for any lights to be reviewed.

Areas that will not be affected

Approximately 85 per cent of the county's roads don't have any street lighting. Street lights on the other 15 per cent are now only kept on all-night if they meet one (or more) of these criteria:

  • Main traffic routes and road junctions;
  • Locations with a significant road traffic night-time accident record;
  • Areas with a significant record of night-time crime or anti-social behaviour;
  • Lights outside sheltered housing and other residences accommodating vulnerable people;
  • Areas with 24-hour operational emergency services including hospitals;
  • Potential hazards on the highway such as traffic calming, speed humps and road crossings;
  • Parts of town centres that have concentrated night-time activity or economy; and / or
  • Areas covered by police or council CCTV operations.

The remainder are converted to part-night operation and automatically switch off between midnight and 5am when road use is at a minimum.

Street lighting energy reduction programme - frequently asked questions