STREET LIGHT SWITCH-OFF: ‘Winter trial’ time with new times has now finished
NIGHTTIME lighting will not return to our streets, insist councillors amidst ongoing confusion and criticism over the blackout which now starts an hour earlier on weekdays.
As part of the latest change of heart by Warwickshire County Council, the lights are now timed to switch off between 1am and 6.30am on Friday and Saturday nights and an hour earlier on weekdays in hope of lighting the way for as many people as possible.
Council officers made the decision on Wednesday in response to public concern after criticism for holding the later 1am ‘winter trial’ for just nine days and over the most unreflective time during party season.
The switch off time was moved from midnight on December 21 in ‘response to public reaction’ and was understood by county councillors to be set until the summer - as we reported last week.
But by January 2, the ‘winter trial’ had finished and the blackout reverted back to midnight - giving just nine nights to gauge effects and when more people are out late than any other time of the year.
Town councillor Richard Davies (Con, St John’s) who suggested the new time and believed it to be rolled out permanently, said it was “not nearly long enough” to be a successful trial and was disappointed at it being in place for just over one week.
Just days later the latest change was made and the new varied time scheme is now in place until the clocks go back in the spring.
The new times have been met with mixed reaction, with one resident describing it as “still not suitable” and another suggesting the only safe way is to have alternate lights left on all night to light the streets and save money.
But county councillor Alan Cockburn (Con), portfolio holder responsible for the lights, made it clear to all those opposing the black out, that the money saving measure was here to stay.
“The different times mean people out or working late at weekends get the benefits, as do early morning weekday workers,” he said.
“People tell us that they are out later at weekends and up earlier in the week and this is what we are responding to.
“But we don’t want people to think this means the end of the scheme. We have invested £1.6 million into it and with half a million savings to be made each year it’s simply not possible to have them back on.”
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Weather for Warwick
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 15 C
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Wind direction: North