Street light cuts in bid to save money research shows

Street lights are being turned off or dimmed to save money by two-thirds of councils in England as a result of government spending cuts, according to a Labour party survey.

The survey collated information from 141 of 150 councils in England, revealing that 50 were switching off some streetlights, while 56 were dimming them. A total of 42 councils were taking both measures and 35 councils were doing neither.

According to the Labour party significant areas of the country were being “plunged into darkness” due to a squeeze on budgets and high energy prices, raising safety concerns among motorists and pedestrians.

"Street lights ensure that people are safe on our roads and feel safe walking home, especially at this time of the year when the nights have drawn in,” said Hilary Benn, the shadow communities and local government secretary.

“Our research shows, however, that significant areas of Britain have been plunged into darkness since May 2010 as a result of David Cameron and Eric Pickles’ policies."

The research revealed that 1.36 million lights are either off or dimmed at night, compared with 148,000 in May 2010, a ninefold increase, out of a total of 5.7 million.

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