Street lights look set to be dimmed

Street lights in North Tyneside.
Street lights in North Tyneside.

Council chiefs are looking to dim the lights in a bid to reduce costs and the borough’s carbon footprint.

A new energy saving scheme has been approved by North Tyneside Council’s cabinet which will see street lights dimmed in residential areas of the borough.

The lights will be fitted with devices allowing them to be dimmed by 25 per cent power consumption and then by 40 per cent between midnight and 5.30am.

They will also be ‘trimmed’ to come on a few minutes later at dusk and switch off earlier in the morning.

Officials hope the scheme, which will be phased in across all residential areas by the end of 2014, will save the council more than £200,000 a year.

Energy provider SSEC carried out a two-week trial of the Mayflower central monitoring system in the Rayleigh Drive area of the Weetslade ward, with members of the overview and scrutiny committee and residents agreeing the change was not noticeable.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “In these difficult financial times we are constantly looking at new ways to keep our energy costs down, protect the environment and ensure that residents continue to feel safe and secure when they move around the borough.

“This new system, together with other energy saving measures we’ve introduced, will go a long way to drastically reducing our carbon footprint and slashing our energy costs.”

Cabinet members were told other councils dim their lights and there were no concerns from the police.

Coun John Harrison, cabinet member responsible for the environment, said “This system is cost-saving both to the environment and to our finances.”

The council currently spends £1.76m on street lighting, which accounts for 14 per cent of the authority’s carbon footprint.

Cabinet also agreed to give further consideration into switching off some lighting in non-residential areas for several hours after midnight. This has been trialled on the A189 since May 2012.