Part night lighting and LED conversion FAQS

The council has begun a programme to convert all the county borough’s street lanterns to LED and at the same time implement part night lighting, between the hours of midnight and 5.30am, to all lighting, except at junctions and in major town centres. The programme commenced at the beginning of April 2019 and will continue on a ward-by-ward basis for a period of approximately two years. During this period It has become necessary to take the decision that when we receive a service request for a single fault, the lantern will be replaced with the new LED type. This method of working is to prevent taxpayer monies being spent effecting repairs and then shortly removing that equipment. Whilst some customers may experience a delay in their street light being returned to operation, because the lantern changes due to faults are independent of the wider scheme, we will endeavour to keep this delay to the absolute minimum. 

Can Caerphilly County Borough Council legally turn off lights?

There is no statutory requirement on local authorities in the United Kingdom to provide public lighting.  In England and Wales, the Highways Act 1980 empowers a Highway Authority to provide lighting for any highway or proposed highway under their responsibility.  Highway Authorities have a duty of care to the road user, but this does not imply any duty on the Highway Authority to keep the street lighting operational. 

Why can’t you only switch off every other light? (1 in 2)

This has been considered but it will not enable the council to meet its objectives regarding energy cost increases and carbon reduction savings. It would also mean lots of variations in the level of street lighting, which is not considered appropriate for highway users.

Can I pay to keep the street light outside my house on?

No, part night lighting is to help Caerphilly County Borough Council achieve street lighting energy savings that contribute to the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) and mitigate energy cost increases and carbon reduction savings. The reduction in carbon emissions is a commitment to the prevention of the long term threat of climate change to which energy reduction plays a key role.

The street lighting energy savings will contribute to the authority’s Well Being Objective 4: Promote a modern, integrated and sustainable transport system that increases opportunity, promotes prosperity and minimises the adverse impacts on the environment.

Will I get a reduction in my council tax?

Council tax is a mix of property-based tax and person-based tax that includes elements for all council services; it is a consolidated tax, payable in its entirety in line with the relevant band of the property concerned, therefore it is not possible to reduce any element that goes towards paying for any particular service.

Why my street?

The wide spread introduction of part night lighting and LED conversion within all residential areas will reflect a consistent approach to street lighting across Caerphilly county borough.

What happens if there is an increase in post switch off road traffic collisions or crime levels where part night lighting is in operation?

A recent study led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, in partnership with University College London, focused on offences more likely to occur at night, including burglary, theft of or from a vehicle, robbery, violence and sexual assault. Overall, there was no evidence of an association between reduced street lighting and increased crime.

All roads affected by this change in policy will be monitored for increases in the accident statistics and should any issues become apparent appropriate investigation measures will be taken by the council’s Road Safety team.

When will the works be carried out in my area?

Below is an indicative timescale for the works detailed by area. This is purely indicative, as the works could be affected by any number of factors including inclement weather. It is currently anticipated that around 200 conversions to LED per  week could be achievable.

Ward 

Town

Date

IC

Risca

Commenced

WX

Machen, Trethomas

Commenced

IF

Abercarn

Commenced

WW

Bedwas

Commenced

IB

Newbridge

Commenced

WV

Mornington Meadows (St James)

Commenced

IG

Crumlin

Commenced

WT

Caerphilly Central( Morgan Jones)

Commenced

IH

Mynyddislwyn (Ynysddu)

Commenced

WR

Caerphilly (St James)

Commenced

IJ

Pontllanfraith

01/11/2019

WN

Trecenydd (St Martins)

01/12/2019

IE

Penmaen (Argoed)

01/01/2020

WM

Penyrheol

01/02/2020

IA

Blackwood

01/03/2020

WP

Abertridwr, Sengenydd (Aber Valley)

01/04/2020

WL

Llanbradach

01/04/2020

WJ

Ystrad Mynach

01/05/2020

WK

Maesycwmmer

01/06/2020

WH

Nelson

01/07/2020

WG

Tir-y-birth (St Cattwg)

01/07/2020

ID

Pengam (Cefn Fforest)

01/08/2020

WF

Bargoed (Gilfach)

01/09/2020

WE

Aberbargoed

01/10/2020

WD

Fochriw/Deri (Darren valley)

01/10/2020

WC

New Tredegar

01/11/2020

WB

Abertysswg (Moria)

01/11/2020

WA

Rhymney (Tywncarno & Pontlottyn)

01/12/2010

What about people who are partially sighted, elderly or undertake shift work?

The introduction of part night lighting is not based on personal circumstances. The clearer, more focused street lighting provided by LED units should assist poorly sighted individuals, as well as helping define the less able bodied to be identified on or around the highway.

Can I claim against the council if I am injured during the hours when street lights are not lit?

There is no statutory requirement on local authorities in the United Kingdom to provide public lighting.  Many roads and paths are not lit at all and highway users need to adjust their behaviour according to the prevailing conditions.

What happens if the cost of my car/home insurance increases due to part night lighting?

While providing a generally welcome benefit, the street lighting system is not installed to provide security lighting or lighting for the access or egress into properties. 

How much will this programme of work cost to implement?

While costing around £4.2 million to implement in total initially, the council has been successful in obtaining Salix funding to the tune of £4.1 million. This is interest free funding to the public sector to enable them to improve their energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and lower energy bills.

What are the likely energy savings?

Full year energy savings are expected to be £940,000 and 6,884,477KWh, with predicted energy increases in the forthcoming financial year of 13.66%

Who made the decision to implement part night lighting?

A report on Future Lighting and Energy Saving Proposals was considered by the cross-party Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee in October 2018. Their recommendations were approved at a meeting Cabinet during November 2018.

Why were residents not consulted?

Prior to the 2012 implementation of the “Reduction in Street Lighting Operating Hours” policy, extensive consultation was carried out with adjoining local authorities, the Business Forum, Community and Town Councils, Community Partnerships, Community Safety Partnership, Council departments, disability groups, Emergency Services, Sirhowy Enterprise Way Ltd, the Viewpoint Panel, Western Power Distribution, the Youth Forum and others. 

Residents were also asked to take part in a survey to determine their preferred energy saving options of which widespread part night lighting throughout the Borough was included.

Will part night lighting be reviewed?

There are no plans to review the principles of part night lighting. It should be noted the proposals should be viewed as a way of cost avoidance (against kWh consumption) as energy costs are likely to continue to rise.

When will the part night lighting start in my area?

The installation of LED lanterns and part night lighting will be undertaken concurrently, beginning during April 2019 and planned to be completed within 24 months. We will strive to keep residents informed as to when works will begin in their areas.

Which other county borough have introduced part night lighting?

All neighbouring authorities have undertaken a reduction in the street lighting operating hours.

Can my light have a shield fitted?

The light output of the LED lanterns has been chosen to replicate that of the sodium lanterns being replaced, though if looked at directly the lantern may appear to be brighter. All requests for shields will be considered but the installation of shields or louvres is generally unnecessary and in the majority of cases Caerphilly CBC will require a non - refundable contribution towards the cost of these works of £50.00 (inclusive of vat).

Please note that the installation of any shield may not fully address your concerns or expectations.