Jump to content

sgl_imaging_challenge_2021_2.thumb.jpg.72789c04780d7659f5b63ea05534a956.jpg

Speaking to council about lights


Recommended Posts

I was wondering if anyone has had any dealings with their local parish council and/or their county council regarding lighting, especially in the villages away from the city? I currently live just outside of Lincoln (UK) and to be fair, the light pollution levels aren't terrible, however it does seem to have gotten worse over the last few years. The county council have started changing the lighting in the city from the sodium type over to LED and although that's a much whiter light, the lighting is pointing downwards and the shielding is actually pretty good so I'm hopefull there.

My questions are more based around the lighting for the local villages. When I drive home from the city on an evening, especially now it's getting dark earlier; the amount of lighting that is on for a smallish village seems hugely excessive. There's little to no shielding and there's no dimming during the night. There's one outside my bedroom window that is on all night and shines out everywhere.

I don't want to go down the route of "You SHOULD do this and you SHOULD do that" as that will just get peoples backs up and I don't think that ever really achieves anything. I was wondering if people have had any success speaking to councils in the past about dimming and/or turning off lights over night for low traffic areas? Any documentation I can use as back up for the obvious arguments that will follow, like crime, accidents, traffic incidents etc. Everything I've seen or read has suggested that having nights on all night has no effect to any of these but I'd like something more official than a google search :)

I also want to try, not lying but using my wording effectively. By that I mean I don't want to say "I want the lights off so I can see the pretty stars". Maybe take the route of carbon footprints or the costs involved of running these lights all night etc.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Also if there's anyone else here living in or around lincoln that would like to have a chat about it, more voices may carry more weight?

Thanks,

Phil.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

First I guess would be to simply ask if they have a policy general or specific to reduce lighting in the villages.

If that answer is No, then perhaps ask if they are intending to do such or if they would consider doing such.

One point is your post mentions "The villages", not sure you should jump into wanting to define what villages other then yours should follow, so stick in general to your village. The layout of others may be that reduced or no lighting makes them dangerous to people. A village with no footpaths or narrow ones will not want you trying to get their lights turned off.

Equally will say that where I am there is a row of yellow lamps that are close to each other and on a road+footpath that basically goes nowhere. Never seen anyone on the footpath once it is even semi-dusk. They are on all the time and yet the council switch some lights off at midnight.

One other aspect is that if you live on what could be considered a "access" road where people tend to walk/drive along to get from A to B then your lights may not get switched off. Mine go off as the road is a Close, but a well used road 400 yds from me they remain on and that is considered to be one used by people and cars.

I would start by an exquiry about their policy or possoble adoption of a reduced lighting policy and then progress from there if it looks promising.

Also remember that a councilor has to get votes at some time and if they upset the 99% that want the lights on you can guess which way they will decide.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

focus just on the one that shines in your bedroom, I rang my council's help point said had one shinning in bedroom it affected my sleep and also my hobby was there anything that could be done please. result light had baffles added which help.

separately see if you can find any council news article on their lights dimming/off approach. don't mix this in with the call about the one light you do have affecting you.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's very tough indeed to convince anyone other than the astronomy community about excessive lighting.

Not saying you shouldn't try of course. Cost benefits are perhaps a bit more likely to succeed.

If a light is shining into a bedroom, they might listen and do something.

Good luck !! Ed.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

check out this group

http://darksky.org/

from them you may develop some further ideas how to go about this or at least make some contacts via a local chapter (if there is one).

Best of luck, as this seems to be a challenging area.  

Also, search for light pollution or similar in the threads on SGL some interesting comments have already been made in similar circumstances.

michael

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Some councils needing to make budget savings have reduced the amount of time that the streetlights are kept on at night, so where I live they go off from about midnight most nights except where there are safety reasons to keep them on such as where there are traffic calming measures on the roads that drivers need to clearly see.

This is great but many residents now leave their own security lights on all night in their gardens or front porches.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll second the suggestion to contact the International Dark-Sky Association:

http://darksky.org/

They have practical advice on how to approach one's town-council, etc, to endorse cutting light-pollution. There are many different paths one can use to move these people out of their typical somnambulism. Everything from health concerns to damaging children's development and much more. Just doing an endorsement for amateur-astronomers' can fall on deaf ears. Telling them "Annnnnd it will kill babies!" will light a fire under their backsides. Not literally "kill babies" - but close! :p

There can be a fine-line between being a successful-activist, and being regarded as a crackpot. :eek:

See you in the Funny-Farm -

Dave

Edited by Dave In Vermont
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Some councils needing to make budget savings have reduced the amount of time that the streetlights are kept on at night, so where I live they go off from about midnight most nights except where there are safety reasons to keep them on such as where there are traffic calming measures on the roads that drivers need to clearly see.

This is great but many residents now leave their own security lights on all night in their gardens or front porches.

Indeed and if its anything like Essex council, if each town can find the money to fund them being on all night they allow it. What it means is residents get charged extra by the local town/borough council.

 There are many different paths one can use to move these people out of their typical somnambulism. Everything from health concerns to damaging children's development and much more. ... Telling them "Annnnnd it will kill babies!" will light a fire under their backsides. Not literally "kill babies" - but close! :p

Dave

WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!

John

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.