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Support for street lighting policy

Support for street lighting policy

Published at 6:34pm 29th July 2015. (Updated at 6:42pm 29th July 2015)

North Yorkshire's highways bosses are welcoming a study which has found that switching off street lights at night doesn't lead to more crime or road accidents.

According to academics at University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, switching off the lights also plays a significant part in reducing carbon emissions.

The results of their research are based on data collected over a 14-year period.

Lead investigator Dr Phil Edwards said: "An estimated £300 million is spent every year on street lights in the UK. At a time when local authorities need to make spending cuts, our findings show that by carefully assessing risks, street lighting can be reduced without an increase in car crashes and crime."

Some residents raised concerns when North Yorkshire's reduced street lighting programme started.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Highways, said: "This serious, independent, academic research fully supports our view that providing a street lighting reduction programme is carried out in consultation with agencies such as North Yorkshire Police, and takes account of concerns regarding road safety and crime, there is no cause to fear that the results will be detrimental.

"Indeed, with the need not only to save money in this austere economic climate, but perhaps even more importantly to do everything possible to reduce carbon emissions and thereby reduce the prospect of potentially disastrous climate change, this research fully justifies North Yorkshire's policy, introduced several years ago."

The reduced street lighting programme results in an annual saving of around £400,000 and reduces carbon emissions by 3,000 tonnes each year.

It's anticipated that parts of the Craven and Selby areas will be included before the end of this year.