The County Hall highways chief Rodney Bass expressed that instead of instantly making the decision to allow all streetlights to be switched off, they investigated the installation of low energy streetlights. However the eco friendly idea was disregarded, as the total cost would be in extent of £31 million.
The highways chief has been criticised by many of his opposition of the switching off of lights, as alternative options had not been taken into account. The criticism came after the County Hall spent around £6 million on the installation of remotes on lampposts in order to switch them off.
The use of LED lighting was not possible for Essex as Mr. Bass explained it was not “economically viable for a county of our size at present.”
“It would cost over£31 million to purchase new LED lights across the councils lighting stock, which far outweighs the cost of introducing our own central management system.”
The Essex council was not able to get private funding as other councils have done, as under Government new rules, this is no longer permitted.
He also makes clear how LED technology is quite news and therefore the long term performance of them is not yet really known.
There were many concerns when it came to the switching off of street lights, so Essex County Council has reached an agreement with the Essex Police, if there is an increase in crime in certain areas, then full night lighting will be restored again.