Street light switch-off resumes after being halted due to complaints

Streetlights on Bradley Stoke Way

The implementation of a scheme to switch-off most of Bradley Stoke’s street lights for five hours a night has resumed following a one week suspension after South Gloucestershire Council experienced a surge in complaints

The big switch-off started in early April after members of Bradley Stoke Town Council voted for the scheme to be implemented following a public consultation in which 54% of respondents expressed unqualified support.

A Journal reader reported on 10th April that the lights in Stean Bridge Road had started switching off at around 1:10am and it is believed that around one-third of the town, working up from the south, has now been converted.

However, last night’s meeting of  the Town Council’s Finance Committee was told that numerous residents had phoned SGC’s Streetcare department to complain about the new lighting regime, only to be told: “it’s nothing to do with us, you need to contact your Town Council”.

In fact, the switch-off scheme is an SGC initiative and the Town Council’s only involvement was to organise a public consultation on the proposals.

Although 36 of the 153 consultation respondents made constructive suggestions for changes to the original plans, these were all ignored, without analysis or comment, by the Town Council.

The only change made by SGC after the consultation ended has been the addition of two extra streets, where traffic calming measures had been overlooked, to the exclusion list.

Staff on the Streetcare hotline have now been told to explain to callers that the scheme is an SGC initiative aimed at reducing carbon emissions and cutting electricty bills.

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  1. I live in the Worthys and the lights have been going off here for a few weeks. Last weekend I walked home late after a party and could not believe how dark it was !! Im a bloke and 6ft3 and still amde me a bit wary . My guess is that it only a matter of time before the first mugging, rape or murder in one of these dark areas…. then we will see who is in favour of this madness to save a relatively small amount of money. Let me go through SGC expenses and I bet I could save more !.

  2. Shocker…not.

    I am not surprised about the complaints and nor am I surprised about the Council washing their hands of it.

    I am surprised that there haven’t (as yet) been more reports to the utility companies about black outs/power cuts, or even the police, when lights are out at night – given only about 154 people saw this “consultation”. I would expect this will come as a surprise to the majority of Bradley Stoke residents.

    I find it laughable that the 54% is being lauded as a majority, 83 people out of a population of 20000 is not a majority, well, not by my stats, anyway.

  3. When the first street lights were introduced in cities, there was an immediate and dramatic reduction in footpad (=mugger) activity. One hopes the reverse will not also hold true.

  4. Let’s not pre-judge the outcome of this trial. Street light switch-offs of this type (lights off from approx 00:00 to 05:00) have been and are being trialled in a number of areas across the UK, and have been for a couple of years or more. As far as I am aware (as an interested observer; I’m not “involved”) the results from these have shown no increase in crime or ASB, and in some instances a reduction in crime/ASB has been observed.

    It looks to me as if the consultation was done as widely as possible; it was announced on the Town Council web site and also reported on this forum, amongst other web sites and news sources. I recall it being featured prominently along with a response form in a Bradley Stoke Town Council Newsletter too, which I assume is delivered to every household in the town. As far as the results go, presumably everyone who was aware of the consultation and opposed to the proposal registered their opposition, those who had no strong opinion either way would not feel any need to respond, and those in support may or may not have registered their support. To look at it another way, out of 20,000 people in the town (or lets say, what, 7,000 households?) only 28 objected. I suspect that most people were fairly neutral and didn’t reply one way or the other.

    As for me, well if I’m going to be walking home in the small hours then I’ll probably carry a torch in the same way that I carry gloves if I expect to come home in the cold or an umbrella if I expect it to be wet, and I’ll be grateful that for part of the night at least I don’t have street lights shining in through the windows while I’m sleeping.

  5. I was not aware of the consultation.Safety should be paramount.I feel the powers of SGC have over stepped the mark.154 people should not be enough respond to forge a proposal as stupid as turning street lights off.
    If carbon emissions are a problem haha.SGC should bring back weekly rubbish collection instead of the long wait at the local dump every week with all the cars trying to get in to dump weekly rubbish.Progress things are just getting worse.When was the last time you saw a street cleaner.

  6. I live down Ellan Hay Road and was surprised to see the lights go out and how dark it gets.

    I wasn’t aware of any consultation and also aren’t surprised with the council’s attitude – since when has it listened to it’s customers? :\

    Penny pinching at it’s worst – at best yet another flawed attempt at “progress”

  7. Ah, not just me that has worked out that only 1/2 my rubbish fits in the wheely bins, even with me jumping up and down on it.

    My car”s getting quite smelly with carting another 6-8 black bags every week down to the local dump. Not to mention the damage the speed humps are doing on my suspension coils and tyres even though I’m driving 5-10mph below the limit.

  8. Not sure what the council have done but the street lights were all off when I came home at 11pm tonight. This was in the Worthys and down Stean Bridge Road…

    So it went from 1am, which I thought was sensible to well before midnight when people are still up and around.

  9. I live near to the Toby pub and our street lights didn’t come on at all tonight. Yesterday morning they went out at around 1.30 am. Apart from the main roads the place is extremely dark. I hope, as others here do, that crime doesn’t escalate in the area. The lack of lighting will confine many, particularly those who are elderly or live alone, to a very isolated existence in the evenings, where they won’t want to leave their homes. Shame on the Council for not sending more information around about. We’re receiving tons of unwanted mail about AV – why weren’t we we give the same level of information about our lights?

  10. We live in West Leaze Place and we have had no lights at all for the last three nights so where the 5 hour rule has gone I just don’t know, I did not see any Consultation over the switch off of the street lights. Safety should be paramount and with how dark it is, I am not sure the council have taken the right Decision (problems waiting to happen in Bradley Stoke)

  11. I live in west leaze place and there has been no street lights since 27th april. I also did not see any consultation. I leave for work at 3.45 am and find it very dark when walking to my car.

  12. Why should we risk the security of our homes, cars etc and our personal security late at night for the penny pinching of Bradley Stoke council?? Have or when are we having a reduction in our council tax since they’ve plunged us into complete darkness???
    It’s a burglers heaven now in Bradley Stoke at night, take what you like no one will see you!!! Bet the people who came up with this stupid idea don’t care as it’s not them or their family and belongings at risk, or they haven’t been burgled 3 times living in the area??? They probably don’t even live in Bradley Stoke or if they do, no doubt they’ve managed to keep their street lights switched on!!!! Shame on you!

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