||This review of local authority road lighting initiatives was commissioned by Defraâs
Statutory Nuisance team in response to one of the recommendations contained in the
Royal Commission on Environmental Pollutionâs (RCEP) report âArtificial Light in the
Environmentâ. The RCEP report made reference to road lighting trials being undertaken by
local authorities in the UK that have been reducing or turning road lights off. This report
has been produced following a review of fifteen out of twenty five such initiatives identified
in England and Wales.
The overall aim of the review was to examine the local authority road lighting trials and
initiatives and draw out the lessons learnt.
Local authorities have implemented these initiatives in response to economic pressures
such as rising energy prices and environmental concerns about wasted energy and the
effects of carbon emissions and light pollution. Changes have been made to the way they
deliver public road lighting services by:
 switching selected road lights off;
 lighting roads for part of the night only;
 dimming the level of lighting during the early hours of the morning;
 reducing the âburningâ time of lamps in the evening and early morning; and / or
 using new and evolving technologies such as a central management system (CMS) or
light emitting diodes (LED).
These initiatives have the potential to provide a range of benefits including substantial
financial savings to local authorities, reduced carbon emissions and reduced light pollution.
However, the benefits need to be considered in the context of the important role that road
lighting plays in terms of assisting traffic safety and helping to reduce crime. Local
authorities have needed to carefully consider the impacts of proposed changes on these
issues and adopt appropriate management strategies prior to, during and post
implementation. These strategies have included the use of measures such as exemption
criteria, risk assessments and active engagement with stakeholders.
From this review, it is evident that there are a range of options and tools available to local
authorities as they consider how best to respond to the growing economic and
environmental pressures on the way they deliver their public road lighting services.
It is hoped that the information contained within this report may inform local authorities
which face similar challenges in the future, in identifying some of the key issues that may
affect their particular public road lighting service and assist in the process of implementing
changes appropriate to their circumstances.