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Move in residential roads to save £1million and decrease pollution
Streets are set to be plunged into darkness as part of a push to save £1million.
Lights across Epping Forest will be switched off between 12am and 5am every night, from December 1.
Essex County Council has been consulting communities on which areas should be exempt from the scheme and high streets and busy areas will not be affected.
But residential streets will no longer be lit throughout the night under the plan and there are safety concerns.
Speaking following the death of Grant Barry, who was hit by a car in Stapleford Abbotts in 2010, Coroner Eleanor McGann described the idea as ‘inherently dangerous’.
And Neighbourhood Action Panel leader for Epping, Mike Compton, expects his group to be concerned about the move.
He said: “Being plunged into darkness is never going to be a helpful thing.
“Could they not just turn alternate lights off? They would still save money.
“It is something that we will be discussing at our next meeting.”
So-called ‘part night’ street lighting was introduced in Uttlesford in 2007 and police have reported no affect on crime or accident levels.
Essex County Council, which is rolling out the scheme across the county, said it will reduce pollution and save taxpayers £1million a year.
Despite politicians also expressing concern over the move, Epping Forest Neighbourhood Inspector, Marc Jordan, believes the district will remain a safe place to live.
He said: “I am committed to keep reducing crime within the district and actually very few offences occur overnight in our area.
“Epping Forest is still a very safe place to live when compared to similar areas and especially taking into account our large border with Greater London.
“Crime this year in the Epping Forest area is down by 80 offences on the same time last year.
“Offences generally linked to the night time such as House Burglary is down by 88 offences on the same time last year and Vehicle Crime is down by 29 offences on last year.”
Essex Police have confirmed that they will closely monitor crime levels when the lights are switched off.
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