We are currently working towards reducing the environmental impact of street lighting in Somerset.
This will be achieved by installing low energy LED equipment to all our replacement assets over the coming years.
We will also work and support local Parish, Town, and City Councils in reducing the number of streetlights we leave on during the hours of darkness, when vehicles and pedestrians are least likely to be present. This must be driven and supported by the residents, and is known as part night lighting, which means switching off the lights in suitably identified areas between 12 midnight and 5.30am Any part night conversions to existing street lights must be funded by the local Parish, Town, or City Council’s.
Our aims above will help us to:
- Reduce our carbon footprint.
- Reduce our energy consumption.
- Reduce Light pollution.
The Council operates approximately 51,637 streetlamps and 7,145 illuminated bollards and signs.
Historical satellite data indicates that light pollution increased by 20% in Somerset between 1993 and 2000, showing that light pollution was on the rise.
The impacts of light pollution in addition to wasting energy include:
- Harming people’s quality of life. For example, sleep disturbance when the light shines direct into windows of properties.
- Light sources that omit light above the horizontal that will Interfere with our view of the night sky.
- Impacts on the ecology and wildlife of an identified area, affecting the behavioural patterns of plants and animals.
Street lighting in the following areas will not be converted to part night lighting.
Most main traffic routes (although some lights may be dimmed)
Location with a significant night-time road traffic accident record
Areas with above average record of crime
Areas provided with CCTV local authority/ police surveillance equipment.
Areas with 24 hr operational emergency services sites including hospitals.
Formal pedestrian crossings, subways, and enclosed footpaths and alleyways where one end links to a street that is lit all night.
Where there are potential hazards on the highway (roundabouts, central carriageway islands, chicanes, speed humps)
When full time night lighting will be reinstated
We will monitor the effects of part-night lighting and review whether any lights may need to be switched back to full time lighting at night. The most likely reasons for changing lights will be:
If the police, consider there is an unacceptable increase in crime or anti-social activity in the area over a 6-month period after the change and part night lighting is identified as the cause.
If there is an unacceptable increase in traffic incidents after the change and part night lighting is identified as the cause.
Monitoring will continue after this period to ensure that any problems are identified, and appropriate action is taken.
Full-time night lighting will not be re-instated in the following cases:
- Fear of increased crime.
- To provide increased lighting to aid recreational or social activities.