Cuts Watch #307: Street Lights
Tonight’s Newsnight will report that many local authorities are cutting spending on street lighting; some are switching lights off, others are dimming them. The programme contacted 75 Councils: 32 plan to turn some lights off, 9 are dimming them and 14 are considering cutting street lighting. The BBC News website reports that the retinitis pigmentosa (night blindness) charity, Fighting Blindness, said these cuts would make blind people more vulnerable to street crime. The Press Association quotes the Police Federation as saying that:
The cuts could well mean that back streets and outer areas become a more fertile area for criminals to become more active in. The lighter an area is, the safer it is for public safety, pedestrians and indeed, motorists.
The Local Government Chronicle reports Andrew Howard, the head of road safety at the AA, as saying:
There is a fear that it could lead to more crashes as motorists fail to detect an unlit boulder or a drunk pedestrian dressed in dark clothes.
Lighting can improve safety for drivers, riders, and pedestrians as well as deterring street crime.