What is part-night lighting?
Part-night lighting is the term we use for a light that switches off for part of the night. The affected lights will switch on at dusk (as usual) but switch off between 1am and 6am during British Summer Time and between midnight and 5am during winter.
What savings are being made by going to part-night operation?
The Council currently spends £1.5m annually on energy for street lighting. It is anticipated that operating street lighting on a part-night basis will save over £300,000 a year.
What other benefits are there?
Street lighting accounts for nearly 20 per cent of the 37,000 tonnes of carbon emissions generated by the Council in 2013/14. By reducing the energy we use on street lighting, we are reducing our CO2 emissions, reaching targets.
In addition to the money and carbon savings, 'sky glow' or light pollution will be significantly reduced, allowing for better viewing of night sky.
Will all lights be affected?
No. There are certain locations where we will not be operating part-night lighting, these are:
- where there are potential hazards on the highway such as roundabouts, traffic signal controlled junctions, central carriageway islands, road projections etc.
- at formal pedestrian crossings
- town centres
When will the lights be switched off?
A phased approach from October 2014 has been agreed.
How many lights will be affected?
We aim to operate half of the county borough's street lights - around 14,000 lights - on a part-night basis.
Can the Council legally turn off the lights?
Yes. There is no statutory requirement on Local Authorities in the UK to light the highway.
Have lights been switched off in other parts of the Country?
Yes. Part-night lighting has been successfully introduced in a number of Welsh authorities such as Powys, Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Monmouthshire, and Bridgend. There are also many other Councils across the UK who are successfully operating part night arrangements.
Will 30mph speed limits still apply if lights are switched off?
Yes. A 30mph speed limit automatically applies in any road containing a system of street lights not more than 200 yards apart, unless signposted with a different speed limit. They do not have to be switched on all night for the speed limit to be applicable.
Can't you just dim lights instead of switching them off?
Not all types of light can be dimmed and those that could be dimmed have already been converted. In future years we will be dimming all new installations where appropriate.
Can't you just fit lower power bulbs?
Unfortunately not. To change lamps to a lower energy type would require replacing the control equipment which would not be cost effective. Where we are replacing or upgrading the lighting in an area we do always look at using lower energy equipment but this will still be operated on a part night basis to achieve the required savings.
Can I choose the times the light outside my house operates?
No. All lighting will be treated the same throughout RCT.
I park my car on the road, will part-night lighting affect this?
We recognise that in many residential streets there is no off-road parking, or that the demand for parking exceeds that which is available off-road, and residents then park their vehicles on the road. With the change to part-night lighting it is even more important to ensure that if you park over-night on the road, you do so in accordance with the requirements of the Highway Code to ensure your vehicle is visible to other road users. The Highway Code advises that you must not park on a road at night facing against the direction of the traffic flow unless in a recognised parking space. Further information on parking can be found on the Gov.uk website.
How can I comment on the scheme?
You can write to street lighting either by post or email using the contact details below
Rhondda Cynon Taff County Council,