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80 per cent of street lights are dimmed in Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 09:00 26 January 2017 | UPDATED: 11:27 26 January 2017

80 per cent of street lights are dimmed in the borough. Picture Eric Bush.

80 per cent of street lights are dimmed in the borough. Picture Eric Bush.

Archant

After the glitz of Christmas, January can seem comparatively bleak, however new research suggests that the dark winter evenings can be attributed to more than post–festive blues.

Out of 20,965 street lights in the borough, 16,772 are dimmed according to details obtained under a Freedom of Information request by website confused.com, and there are plans to dim more.

Nick McDoherty, 62, of Gants Hill, said: “I don’t go out at night anymore if I can help it as I feel vulnerable. It doesn’t just affect pedestrians, and car users are increasingly using their full beams to see – which blinds other users.”

Although 80 per cent of street lamps have been dimmed Neighbourhood Watch Redbridge chairman, Mark Glazer said he has not heard complaints.

Cecelia Rufus, of the Redbridge Equalities and Community Council, said dimming affects the most vulnerable: “People with additional needs are at risk but everybody should feel safe in their community. There should have been consultation.”

A spokesman for the council said that streetlights are a “perfect example” of where a small, innovative change can make a big difference to the environment and to taxpayers.

“By dimming our streetlights between midnight and dusk we are able to reduce our carbon footprint and ease the impact on our environment. This also makes significant savings which all helps reduce the burden on the tax payer,” he said.

“This simple, elegant solution complements our work to install LED lights in the Borough which last far longer than normal lights, give more illumination, and reduce light pollution.

“Of course we have safety in mind too, and we know many people’s instinct will be to worry if dimming lights may lead to more accidents. In fact independent research has shown that there is no link between dimming street lights and night-time collisions. We have been dimming lights in this way for a number of years and we are pleased to say that residents have not commented to us on any adverse effects.”


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