Climate emergency sparks off consultation on light and shade
More and more consultations are challenging communities to back their general support for the green agenda with practical behaviour changes. Some years ago when Councils started belt-tightening, there was a spate of consultations about switching off street lighting as a cost-saving measure. Now, the proposals are similar, but the rationale is different, as residents in Sheffield are told they are part of a city’s response to its declared Climate Emergency.
The consultation is pretty perfunctory but may signal a change of emphasis as green issues rise up the agenda.
Sheffield residents are being asked to give their views on a proposal to vary the street lighting levels across Sheffield, following the start of a trial in three areas of the city.
The proposals, which support the recently launched Climate Emergency plans, encourage approaches in support of a lower carbon economy, greater resilience to climate change and cleaner growth.
From Monday 19 August until Friday 13 September, street lighting levels in Crosspool, Endcliffe and Meersbrook will be reduced on a trial basis.
During this period, street lights will switch on responsively at 80% instead of the current 84% before midnight and reduce from 54% to 40% at midnight until 6am.
Lighting levels will be adjusted when footfall and traffic is at its lowest and the council will continue to work with South Yorkshire Police, and other stakeholders, to assess and evaluate any impact on communities.
If implemented city-wide, as well as achieving a 380 tonne annual reduction in Co2 emissions, the changes will also see a number of other environmental benefits including minimising the negative effects on residents’ sleep patterns, certain nocturnal animals, plant species and people’s enjoyment of the night sky.
Importantly, the lighting levels will remain in line with the current standards, providing adequate levels of lighting on the highway.
The consultation will close on Sunday 22 September when the views of those in the pilot areas will be assessed alongside the views from respondents across the city.
Article originally appeared on Sheffield City Council
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