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Lights out

Dartford lights set to be turned off
Dartford lights set to be turned off

Dartford is to take a leap into the dark with plans to turn off nearly 200 street lights for part of the night.

Last year we revealed a plan by KCC to remove certain lights and turn others off but this was quickly scrapped and officers went back to the drawing board.

The new plan, set to be discussed by Dartford council next Tuesday (March 5), is to turn 182 lights off across the town in early summer.

Across the county, 3,100 lights have been earmarked for the 12 month trial.
KCC says it could save as much as £150,000 a year across Kent.

Upgrading lamps and changing bulbs in other street lights has already saved £130,000.

There are around 120,000 street lights in Kent and 30,000 lit signs and bollards which cost the county’s taxpayers around £5.8 million a year to run.

It will reduce carbon emissions by about 1,000 tonnes.

The total includes 69 on Bob Dunn Way, six on Bean Lane, 12 on Leyton Cross Road, 24 on Birchwood Road, 13 on Watling Street, 18 on Hawley Road, 12 on Barn End Lane, six on Old Bexley Lane, five on Shepherds Lane and 17 on Cotton Lane.

Dartford lights set to be turned off
Dartford lights set to be turned off

A sensor will be installed in the lamps with a built in timer, meaning it will turn on automatically at dusk, turn off at midnight and come back on at 5.30am and stay on until first light.

Lights will stay on in town centres, high-crime areas, places with sheltered housing and other places accommodating vulnerable people, pedestrian crossings, subways and enclosed footpaths and some alleyways.

A spokesman for KCC said fears of more road accidents, anti-social behaviour and crime had proved unfounded when lights had been switched off elsewhere.

“The implementation of part night-lighting by other local authorities has shown that, at sites where streetlights have been dimmed or switched off, traffic accidents and crime have not increased.

“This fear is based on perception rather than actual data.”

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