Call for street light switch on

Ray Davies and Patrick Gammons.   The residents of Briscoe Way in Lakenheath have had their street lights turned off at midnight raising concerns.
Ray Davies and Patrick Gammons. The residents of Briscoe Way in Lakenheath have had their street lights turned off at midnight raising concerns.
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Residents have raised concerns that a money-saving scheme that sees street lights switched off after midnight is a risk to health and safety.

The street lights on the Homefields Estate, Lakenheath, are switched off between midnight and 5,30am as part of a Suffolk County Council scheme to reduce CO2 emissions and energy bills.

The change has caused concern among residents, who are predominantly of retirement age.

Ray Davis, 73, of Briscoe Way, said concerns included crime, the safety of pedestrians, and problems emergency vehicles may experience if they are unable to see house numbers.

The majority of the street lights in Lakenheath are owned by the parish council and are not able to be switched off.

Patrick Gammons, 71, of Briscoe Way, said: “We understand in today’s climate we have to make a saving but I do not see why we are making a total saving when other places in the village are not making any.”

The residents have asked Suffolk county councillor Colin Noble if about 10 strategically placed street lights can be left on.

Those selected are predominantly in alleyways or on junctions.

Cllr Noble said: “I’m here to represent residents. If there are areas that they are concerned about we would look at the street lights in that area and do something about it.”

He said there was evidence that switching street lights off during the hours of midnight and 5,30am reduced levels of crime.

Suffolk County Council has implemented the intelligent lighting system across 40,000 of its 55,000 street lights in the county.

It has been predicted the scheme will produce a saving of at least £550,000 per year in energy costs.

Cllr Noble said he would be meeting county council officers next week to discuss the possibility of some of the street lights on the Homefields Estate remaining on through the night to alleviate the concerns of residents.