Cambridgeshire U-turn on streetlights

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Lights across Cambridgeshire that had previously been dimmed or switched off to help make savings have been turned back on.

The move follows a decision by Cambridgeshire County Council on December 13 to overturn a decision to switch off street lighting across the county between 2am and 6am and dim by 60 per cent at all other times.

The original decision had been made to help meet the more than £40 million in savings the council had to find due to reduced funding and increased demand on services.

Some 16 parish, town and city councils had come forward to fund the overnight lighting within their communities from their own budgets, which they will now no longer have to fund.

Streetlights affected by the switch off and increased dimming are connected to a Central Management System which controlled them remotely.

The lights will now be on all night and at levels seen prior to April 2016.

There are about 52,000 street lights in Cambridgeshire, of which 33,500 streetlights are connected to this system that were dimmed and 23,500 were part night lit.

Some 18,000 street lights were not affected by the change.

Now that this policy has been withdrawn, the council’s contractor Balfour Beatty has been readjusting these lights back to their former operation at no cost to the council.

All lights will be lit throughout the night and a higher level of lighting has been restored.

Councillor Mac McGuire, chairman of the highways and community infrastructure committee, said: “This means that lights will be brought back to the levels they were before the changes were made and residents should start to see the changes from now as the thousands of lights are reprogrammed.

I would also like to thank all the councils and communities that worked with us to look for alternatives and local solutions.”