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Remaining Surrey streets blacked out from midnight tonight

3 minute read
Remaining Surrey streets blacked out from midnight tonight

Published at 2:31pm 28th February 2017. (Updated at 3:47pm 28th February 2017)

All of Surrey streets will be plunged into darkness later.

It is as the last phase of a part-time lights switch off throughout the county comes into effect tonight at midnight.

It started in December 2016 in Guildford, Surrey Heath and Waverley, before being extended to Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell, Mole Valley and Reigate and Banstead in January this year.

Now, it is being introduced in Runnymede, Spelthorne, Tandridge and Woking.

it means some streets will have no lighting from midnight to 5am every day.

Surrey County Council says it is to save money.

It says it is following the example of other authorities which have introduced similar part night lighting schemes.

It says these have gone ahead "without adverse effects" -  and has resulted in "significant savings."

It says: "With rising energy costs and reduced budgets these types of changes to street lighting are becoming more common."

Despite a public consultation in 2015, the scheme has invited criticism.

An online petition is calling for the council to rethink the issue.

The change.org petition started by George Dokimakis says the move will endanger "the safety of anyone who is out during this time." 

The latest roll out has been slated by Surrey County Councillor Robert Evans.

A statement said: "Spelthorne residents are shocked and worried that most of their streetlights are soon to be switched off.

"Although many people will be asleep during the hours of midnight to 5am, when the local streets will be plunged into darkness, there are fears this might lead to an increase in crime, fly-tipping and vandalism."

"Surrey County Council’s latest cost cutting measure has also left people wondering why they pay their taxes, if this is how they get treated. 

"Many people are asking what is the point of having streetlights in the first place if they are switched off at night...on top of which residents face a huge inflation-busting council tax rise next month.

"Additionally, in Stanwell and Stanwell Moor there are an above-average number of shift workers, people who work at the airport who have to leave home before 5am. Some of them use a bicycle and they are particularly concerned about cycling in the dark with the state many local roads are in."

He added: "I was amazed that it’s just above every road in the borough that is affected. The list of streets stretches to 14 pages."

 

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