Scheme to switch off some lighting

A new scheme to switch off unnecessary lights in some parts of the borough is to be trialled.

North Tyneside Council’s cabinet has agreed to start switching off unnecessary lights in selected non-residential areas late at night where there is a low crime risk.

They hope the trial will help the authority reduce its carbon footprint and save more than £130,000 a year in energy bills.

In the next few weeks, after consultation with local councillors, 3,200 lamps will be turned off between midnight and 5.30am.

Feedback from local people is essential and the council will be asking residents for their views after the scheme has been operating for three months.

Northumbria Police have supported the initiative as the Mayflower lighting system allows lights to be quickly turned back on if there is criminal activity or a road accident.

Coun John Stirling, cabinet member responsible for sustainable development, said: “I must make it clear that at this time no residential areas will be involved in the scheme.

“The scheme involves waggonways, rural paths and low speed roads plus some distributor roads, like the successful A189 trial site where traffic flows drop dramatically after the evening rush hour peak.

“Reviews will be undertaken by the sub group to determine any cause for concern and action to be taken during the trial and roll out programme.”

He added: “Energy prices rose five percent last year and are predicted to rise by nine percent this year so not only will the council be saving hundreds of tonnes of carbon per year we will also be making annual cash savings through reduced energy payments which is important during these times of austerity.”

Lighting for bus shelters, road signs and traffic bollards will not be affected by the proposal.