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We want to dim street lights to save cash.

Byline: HYWEL TREWYN

STREET lights could be dimmed at night to cut carbon emissions and save a council pounds 147,000 a year.

Gwynedd Council, which had previously looked at switching street lighting off entirely after midnight now believes dimming them instead will save more money and be more environmentally friendly.

At present it costs the authority pounds 1.54m a year to maintain 17,351 lights, 5,170 lit highway signs and five traffic signal controls on its roads - out of that, pounds 0.5m is spent on energy costs.

A report by head of highways and municipal Gwyn Morris Jones found that dimming rather than switching off would save pounds 147,565 a year compared to pounds 59,230 and reduce carbon emissions by 930 tonnes over 10 years compared to 515 tonnes over five years.

Under the council's savings strategy for 2010-13, the street lighting service had currently two savings schemes - installing more efficient lamps, saving pounds 50,000 over three years and reducing the frequency of night-time patrols by the street lighting service, saving pounds 34,000 a year.

The third scheme would be to switch off lights between midnight and 5.30am.

Mr Jones said his department had investigated the matter further and come up with another option - dimming street lighting between midnight and 5.30am.

The highways boss said the street lighting unit had trialled the dimming of street lights on a small scale, most notably within the Peblig ward, Caernarfon where over 140 lights were replaced with dimmed lanterns.

"It would appear that local people may not have noticed a change in the amount of light omitted as the unit has yet to receive any feedback from the local community."

"It is a good long term option for reducing energy consumption while not affecting the range of community benefits that street lighting provides." They would not be dimmed in town centres where there are CCTV cameras, or at junctions and roundabouts or outside pubs and areas where there would be a likely increase in crime.

Mr Jones' report will be discussed by a scrutiny committee next Thursday.

OUR MAN IN GWYNEDD Hywel Trewyn... call 01492 574427 or email him at hyweltrewyn@dailypost.co.

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Plan: Highways chief Gwyn Morris Jones Left in the dark: Dimming lights will save pounds 147,000 a year
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 25, 2011
Words:391
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