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How to persuade local council/authority to reduce street lighting?


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Hi all,

Can anyone offer any advice on how to persuade local council/authority to reduce street lighting? (bribing them with Jaffa Cakes may work!) :grin:

After speaking on the phone with my local council/authority this afternoon, I was told their was not a lot they can do and not interested. (That was the response I got from the first person that I spoke to and was then cut off!) I then re-phoned and spoke to someone else. The person I spoke to did say that certain areas the lights are switched off from 0000 until 0500 (whoopee!), but as I live on or near a B road that is 'heavily used' there is little chance of anything happening.

Also, they are phasing out the sodium street lights and replacing with the white LED street lights which will be programmed to get dimmer after midnight. Does anyone have any experience of observing under/with LED street lights?

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There are some replacement lights, probably LED which project the light downward close to where I live. I can definitely see a bit more of the night sky. I think that if there is a particular offending street light glaring into your property you may have a case, but to have the neighbourhood switched off between certain hours, may only happen if there are future power cuts or severe council cost cutting measures. You could try and convince, by putting a case, to your local residents assocaition , if you have one, as they may have a little clout and put pressure on the council, but they will probably be against.

Personally I do not bother observing from home anymore. I do appreciate that some A roads on the outskirts of where I live now switch off the lights between midnight and six AM.

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If the doomsayers are to be believed it might just be a question of waiting a couple of years until the councils can't afford to run streetlights regardless of whether they're newer more efficient models or not.

James

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I doubt very much that they will do anything. Nearly all public highway is lit to particular British or European Standards mainly depending on traffic speed, density and crime or perception of it.

If they decide they are going to switch it off then there would be a lengthy consultation period and studies that would be needed prior to it boing to a board for consideration. Basically the benefit to them would need to outweigh the disadvantages. In most cases, highly unlikely.

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You don't state how you are effected by light pollution - is it general sky glow/ direct light onto you garden/ any LP from neighbours etc? I've an astro friend in your area and I know my LP is much worse. We've both built astro obsy domes to have control of our immediate surrounding and principally do imaging. OK its not for everyone but my brief exposure shots trump eyeballing DSOs every time so LP is not a constant thorn in my side - I can ignore it :police:

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If the doomsayers are to be believed it might just be a question of waiting a couple of years until the councils can't afford to run streetlights regardless of whether they're newer more efficient models or not.

James

that won't happen... they'll just up your council tax :(
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Been having this argument around here for over 2 years now, no one apparently owns the street lights in my road !!!! The county council say they own the lights down the high street but not in my road, talk to the local council.....local council say they own the lights down the lane and along the road running along the back of the estate, but again not on the estate, talk to parish council......parish council say they have nothing to do with any street lighting, talk to County Council.....AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!! So the lights down the main road through the village are dimmed between 0:00 and 5 am and the lights in the lane and back road are switched off during these times but the 3 lights in my road and the Bl***y great super light on the village green next to my house ( which would be perfect if dark ) are left on.

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I had a street light that shines into our bedroom window and onto my observing area. Finally had enough of it and emailed the Council asking if they could fit one of those light-skirt things round it. Requested something be done at 16:00 on Thursday, it had been done before I got the email response the following afternoon!!!

Truly remarkable.

Been having this argument around here for over 2 years now, no one apparently owns the street lights in my road !!!! The county council say they own the lights down the high street but not in my road, talk to the local council.....local council say they own the lights down the lane and along the road running along the back of the estate, but again not on the estate, talk to parish council......parish council say they have nothing to do with any street lighting, talk to County Council.....AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!! So the lights down the main road through the village are dimmed between 0:00 and 5 am and the lights in the lane and back road are switched off during these times but the 3 lights in my road and the Bl***y great super light on the village green next to my house ( which would be perfect if dark ) are left on.

IanC11 - Have you looked on the street light to see if there is a reference code? If you phone the various Councils (probably a customer call centre of some sort) and ask them to check a street light asset number for you the person should have access to an asset management system (Confirm, Flare, Civica etc) which will tell you / them if they own it or not.

If none of them, try asking if there have been any Streetworks licences granted for lighting on the road in question and if so, who carried it out.

If none of this works, PM me the details and I will see what I can find out for you. Might well be the Parish Council as you refer to a village green which is often parish council owned/maintained.

I work in local government asset management. Kill me now.

cheers

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The problem is that the majority of the population actually want MORE night lighting. I know this from contacting my local council, who told me that I was the first person to actually request a reduction in lighting, compared to countless others requesting more lighting.

So we're fighting a losing battle I'm afraid. Just move to the country, if you can!

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With regard to the LED lighting - I know it might not be filterable, but the few lamps near me that they've converted definitely do throw the light in the right places, rather than all around. The pavement is no dimmer, but the surroundings are. I'm actually quite hopeful about it.

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I saw some of the new LED lighting on the M4 out near Reading the other night and all of it is" full cut off" lighting, projecting it all downwards so if that is the way forward then it might be a better evil than the one we have at the moment. Shame it might take many years to get there but I suspect LP will always be an issue in some way for townies. A dark site makes such a difference as well in my experience.

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I'm pretty sure the council couldn't give two hoots about street lights disturbing a night of stargazing. Sad, I know, but honestly... Tell them the reason why you would like to minimise street lights and watch how hard they laugh!

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I saw some of the new LED lighting on the M4 out near Reading the other night and all of it is" full cut off" lighting, projecting it all downwards so if that is the way forward then it might be a better evil than the one we have at the moment. Shame it might take many years to get there but I suspect LP will always be an issue in some way for townies. A dark site makes such a difference as well in my experience.

Whereabouts? - all I 'see' is the sodium ones!

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If none of this works, PM me the details and I will see what I can find out for you. Might well be the Parish Council as you refer to a village green which is often parish council owned/maintained.

Parish councils can be remarkably ignorant of what they do and don't own, too.

James

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I wonder who the electricity supplier sends the bill to ?

Aha! I see a plan. Find out who gets the bill. If it turns out that whoever is paying the bill says they're not responsible for the lights, makes sure they find out about it and stop paying for them. Wait for the electricity supplier to cut them off :D

James

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Thing is, as things stand the low pressure sodium lamp is by far the most efficient of all current sources, at something like 150 Lumens per Watt compared to about a third that for LED.

It's just a matter of putting them in full cut-off housings.

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Maybe one way forward is to obtain information from those councils which already have taken action. Ask how much money they are saving. Then forward this to your crowd.

Derbyshire has started a rolling programme , we're at the cardboard end of the roll.

Leicestershire has started with some villages being plunged into the lovely darkness.

I'm afraid that astronomers don't figure as evidenced by calls to our local crowd. However money talks,

Well not in my house,

Nick.

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