Plans for street lights switch-off in Leeds suburb ‘barmy’

Dennis Brewster, is unhappy about plans to turn off all but two lights on his street
Dennis Brewster, is unhappy about plans to turn off all but two lights on his street
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Cost-cutting plans to switch off street lights have left some residents of a Leeds suburb incandescent with anger.

Leeds City Council has written to householders in Rothwell detailing which lights will be turned off after midnight to save money.

It has been claimed that only one in 10 lights would go out. But, while all lights on some streets will remain on, 70 per cent of lights on others will go dark when the move comes into force on November 10.

Dennis Brewster, 62, said five out of the seven lights on Haighside Way, where he lives, are to be switched off.

He said: “If the council needs to reduce lighting bills then this should be done in a fair way and, indeed, if the one in 10 policy was used across the area then that would probably be acceptable.

“There are serious concerns for residents who have been ‘selected’ without any consultation about safety and security.”

His comments have been echoed by Liberal Democrat councillor Stewart Golton, who said: “I have opposed these plans from the start, but even I couldn’t anticipate the barmy proposals they’d come up with. On the same estate, some streets lose most of their lights, whereas the next street keeps all theirs. You’re even penalised for living on a straight road.”

Coun Richard Lewis, the council’s executive member for transport, said ten per cent of lights would be switched off. “Some streets will be more affected than others based on research into factors such as road accident data and crime statistics, making sure light switch-off is avoided in areas of high risk,” he said.

“Coun Golton is overly obsessive on this issue despite the budget pressures he knows the council is facing.

“What Leeds is doing is very modest compared to other local authorities but will help contribute to budget savings, reducing carbon emissions and the impacts of light pollution.”