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Herts County Council to dim street lights as part of its climate control strategy?

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Street lights in Bishop's Stortford and Sawbridgeworth could be dimmed as part of Hertfordshire County Council's strategy to tackle climate change.

The authority is considering options to reduce the environmental impact of its 115,000 lights by varying their brightness and operating hours.

This will form part of the council's response to its declaration last summer of a climate emergency and the development of its Sustainable Hertfordshire Strategy to improve sustainability.

Cllr Phil Bibby, HCC's cabinet member for highways and environment, said: "We want to reduce the climate impact of our street lighting, and the technical work done by our engineers shows that there are several ways we could do this.

"It's important that we look at these options in the round, which is why we'll be considering this as part of the overall Sustainable Hertfordshire Strategy rather than making changes straight away."

With most of Hertfordshire's street lights having been converted to more efficient LED lights with a central control system, it is possible to dim them and modify timings in specific areas.

Of the 115,000 lights for which the council is responsible, 75,000 are on for part of the night, switching on at full power at dusk, dimming by 50% at 9pm, then a further 30% at 11pm, before switching off at 1am. They come back on at 5am and stay on until dawn at the original levels.

The 40,000 other lights, mainly on A roads and at junctions, are on all night. They switch on at full power at dusk, dimming to 75% power between 11pm and 6am.

A full review of street lighting options will be undertaken next year, subject to funding.

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