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Street Light Turning Off Review


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#1 Matthew (Admin/MPJ)

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 08:47 AM

The Bucks Free press are reporting here that the three year trial of turning off street lights has ended. A saving of £250,000 was made. But it is claimed two deaths may have been avoided had lights been on where accidents happened. There will now be a consultation period. As a non driver, I would prefer lights to be on when walking on along roads, particularly the road between Amersham / Chesham. At least have these on in the evening and off say after mid night.
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#2 Eaton

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 09:20 AM

At least have these on in the evening and off say after mid night.

I agree you would think in this day and age there would be a way to have the lights on a timer so they turn off after midnight but back on (when it's dark) at say 6am!

I see some women walking along the A416 between Amersham and Chesham through the wooded Chesham Bois section when it's dark and none of them look particularly happy about it!
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#3 PeterC

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 09:53 AM

When I was a child the street lights in our road went off at 11.

As a general rule I see no reason for most lights to stay on after midnight and some to be switched off permanently.
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#4 Fran

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 11:09 AM

I think pedestrian need should be the main reason for street lighting, so light residential areas, but turn the lights off during the small hours.

If it's dark, cars should have their lights on, so drivers should not need additional lighting, except at busy and complicated junctions or where there are likely to be pedestrians.

The vast majority of roads in this country are unlit and in most cases people only complain when existing lights are switched off!

Ultimately, even pedestrians can't expect lighting everywhere. The village I grew up in is still largely unlit - and in some cases there isn't even a pavement to walk on. If you go out after dark, you take a torch. ;)

#5 timo_w2s

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 01:52 PM

Maybe I'm too used to living in Finland where virtually every road is lit properly and evenly (yes, I know we have darker, longer winters) but I find coming back to the UK so gloomy in the winter. I've also noticed some motorists on the A413 between Chalfont St Peter and Amersham seem quite nervious when driving in the dark (it's the bit of road I most use so know it better than others). Many don't use their full beam when they should, drive at a very slow speed, or break as a oncoming car is approaching. I think the A413 between the A40 and Gerrards Cross is very dangerous without lights after it has rained hard and the road as partially flooded.

Some places in Finland switch off every other light in the early hours of the night and some switch off the lights altogether out of hours but to me it would seem like a better idea than switching off permanently what little there already is, like Bucks seems to be intent on doing.

The streetlights in Buckinghamshire where installed on the roads for a reason, it would seem like a backwards step to switch them off permanently and has so far been a dangerous experiment.

#6 PeterC

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 03:12 PM

The most dangerous thing that I have found about night driving is worn lane markings simply vanishing when it rains. Street lighting has no effect on this.

St Mary's Way in Chesham, which has very narrow lanes, is a good example.

I agree that motorists who are scared of the dark are a problem, they should just stay at home with a mug of cocoa!
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#7 hyposmurf

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 08:10 PM

The streetlights in Buckinghamshire where installed on the roads for a reason, it would seem like a backwards step to switch them off permanently and has so far been a dangerous experiment.

That's true.Was'nt really a massive saving for 3 years.

#8 hyposmurf

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 08:21 PM

I see some women walking along the A416 between Amersham and Chesham through the wooded Chesham Bois section when it's dark and none of them look particularly happy about it!

I also see numerous cyclists on that stretch of road,with no lights cycling in the dark. :blink: Having addequate street lighting is essential to keep pedestrians safe.You may have headlights on your car,but they dont always light up pedestrians that arent directly in front of your path, at dusk in dark clothing.

#9 timo_w2s

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 08:50 PM

What I don't get is how we live in a health and safety obsessed world these days but somehow it's acceptable to switch off streetlights for a few years and then count the number of extra deaths to see if it's within acceptable limits?!? If the lights weren't needed the councils wouldn't have spent so much money putting them up in the first place and lighting the streets for countless decades.

#10 Fran

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 11:51 AM

The Bucks Free press are reporting here that the three year trial of turning off street lights has ended. A saving of £250,000 was made. But it is claimed two deaths may have been avoided had lights been on where accidents happened.

Any deaths are tragic, but overall, the number of casualties fell significantly in the areas were lights were turned off: from 74 to 55, so there is no easy trade-off. See: New BFP article, which includes:

The Buckinghamshire Coroner Richard Hulett said the deaths of Margaret Beeson and Dr John Bendor-Samuel may have been avoided had street lighting been on.

But Cllr Hardy said the number of fatalities on the unlit sections had in fact gone down during the trial and the coroner was satisfied by reports produced by the council.

He said: “Injury collisions have reduced during darkness from 74 to 55, there’s no evidence the trial has led to an increased casualty rate, in fact the reverse - that’s the good news.


No easy answers.

#11 timo_w2s

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 01:54 PM

So basically the lights are staying off then I guess. Hmm, didn't see that one coming. ;)

Who would have thought lights where so dangerous... don't you just love statistics?

#12 PeterC

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 03:29 PM

Who would have thought lights where so dangerous... don't you just love statistics?

The numbers aren't large enough to be statistically significant.
PeterC aka Chilternbirder

#13 timo_w2s

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 03:56 PM

The numbers aren't large enough to be statistically significant.


I know, I was being sarcastic. Still, it'll be a good enough justification for them to keep them off, just you watch...:unsure:

#14 Matthew (Admin/MPJ)

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 08:46 AM

Link to consultation -

click here

Edited by Fran, 17 October 2011 - 11:51 AM.
Direct link doesn't work, so replaced with one to page for all consultations

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#15 hyposmurf

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 08:37 PM

Is'nt one of those consultations, the one that cost Bucks CC £30,000 to ask us how to spend our money! :D

#16 Matthew (MPJ/Admin)

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 11:18 AM

B F P reporting rise in accidents after lights turned off on A416

http://www.bucksfree...ght_switch_off/
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#17 MichaelHooley

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:37 PM

I frequently drive A413 GX or CSP to Amersham at night. Regardless (or is that irregardless) of statistics, the unlit stretches are indeed unsafe due to:

a) Drivers using high beams to try to make out the road direction

b ) The occasional cyclist or pedestrian.

c) After a storm, the invisible walls of water. (Did BCC suspend drainage operations too?)

d) Invisible potholes - especially in CSP section..

As others have noted, why instal lights in the first place if they are not to be used?

In the meantime, might the savings be used for some pothole repairs? Despite all the promises, this problem is now beyond intolerable.
Michael Hooley

#18 David P

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 05:29 PM

B F P reporting rise in accidents after lights turned off on A416


It is impossible to comment on this unless we know how many of the accidents actually occurred at night time. Transport for Bucks say that 'lack of lighting was not believed to be a contributary factor in any of the collisions'. Why is the immediate reaction to disbelieve them? (in the comments to the BFP article)
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#19 Fran

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 07:43 PM

It is impossible to comment on this unless we know how many of the accidents actually occurred at night time. Transport for Bucks say that 'lack of lighting was not believed to be a contributary factor in any of the collisions'. Why is the immediate reaction to disbelieve them? (in the comments to the BFP article)


Absolutely. Furthermore, comparing such a small number of accidents (which isn't to diminish the unpleasantness of the experience for those involved) over such a short period, is not statistically sound. But when safety is concerned, that sounds heartless.

As others have noted, why instal lights in the first place if they are not to be used?


Finances and the political capital of eco issues were different then.

And there are thousands of miles of roads that have never been lit (and in most cases, no one is campaigning for them to be lit) - that's why cars have lights.