Faster repairs in return for darker streets

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STICKERS will be placed on half the street lights in Brackley and Towcester next month to indicate which of them will be switched off as part of the Northants County cost saving plan.

However NCC has stressed that only lights in the safest of areas will be switched off and that it will save £2 million.

Heather Smith, NCC cabinet member for highways, said budget pressures had forced them into making the changes swiftly and that it was part of wider measures to remove £73 million from the council’s spending.

Mrs Smith added: “The idea of turning off street lights has been touted nationally for some time now and increasingly we’re seeing authorities around the country turning off street lights as a way of saving money.”

She added: “This isn’t about turning off every other light. A number of factors are taken into consideration when choosing which lights will be turned off with peoples’ safety an obvious priority.”

In return for the switch-off NCC has promised to more than halve the time it takes to repair broken lights, reducing the current 28 day target to 10 days.

The decision does not affect street lights on trunk road which are operated by the Highways Agency, or those operated by some town and parish councils.

NCC mainly operate street lights in bigger towns and it will only be those NCC street lights which will be subject to the switch off.