Half the lights will go back on

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A REVIEW into street lighting in Milton Keynes has prompted the council to rethink plans to turn many of them off at night.

One of the first things new transport portfolio holder John Bint vowed to do when he took over was to look into the issue of safety regarding street lights on grid roads, and launched an investigation.

As a result of the initial inspection, Councillor Bint has made plans to turn off half the street lights that the previous Lib Dem administration had penned, though said the review would be ongoing into the autumn and winter.

“We are very pleased with the review we carried out,” he said. “We had very serious concerns with the safety of turning out the lights.

“As a result we are planning to turn out around half the lights the previous administration had planned to.

“We will also be installing devices to lights to turn them on only when it is dark enough, rather than using the fixed time method that the light currently operate under.”

However, while the lights being switched off are planned to be on grid roads and in car parks, one councillor has complained to the council that the lights in her ward have been switched off are in residential streets.

Councillor Isobel McCall, of the Campbell Park ward, said: “It’s absolutely appalling that the Conservative administration are turning off lights in residential areas, in order to end the programme of lights being turned off on the grid roads.

“It’s really important that residents feel safe to come to and from their homes when it’s dark, and good lighting helps people feel safe.

“I’m sure they will be furious when they find their streetlights being turned off.”

But in response, Councillor Bint said he was disappointed that he was not informed of the problem before the issue was made public.

“It is disappointing that neither I nor the department was informed of the problem.” he said.

“It is not our intention to turn off residential lights, so we will look into it.”