Oct 11 2011 By Lawrence Poole
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THE Examiner can confirm the battle to keep street lights across the county switched on has been won.
In January we launched our 'Keep The Lights' turned on campaign after it was mooted Bucks County Council were considering turning off an extra 10,000 lights to save £77,000.
Residents and road safety groups backed our campaign and we presented hundreds of letters to the council supporting our bid.
The lights would have been switched off, or dimmed, between midnight and 5.30am and come on top of the 1,600 lights already switched off in 46 areas across the county as part of a three-year trial.
The trial has just finished and cabinet member for transport Peter Hardy has confirmed there are no plans to turn any further lights off.
He said: "It's not in my plans to look at switching off any more street lights - and I don't see any other wholesale switch offs taking place. We're pleased with how the trial has gone and we will continue to look at ways to save energy and money."
On the recent trial, he said: "It's been a success for the Bucks taxpayers as we've saved £250,000 in three years and we hope to save a further £430,000 over the next five.
Of the 46 sites, 32 will continue to be switched off before a final decision is made, eight are still under review and six have been switched back on already.
Cllr Hardy added: "They include the A413 from the Kingsway roundabout to the railway viaduct where there's a bad accident record and the A40 from the A412 to Denham roundabout, which was suspended as part of the trial due to bridge removal.
"The number of collisions has actually come down during the trial compared to the three years before - so on balance it was a very good thing to do."
Lawrence Brown, 60, lives just off London Road East, outside Amersham, he said: "I'm glad they're not planning on turning any more off.
"We're actually campaigning to have ours turned back on though, it's pitch black out there at night and all you see is headlights going past - I go to work in the dark and it makes it very difficult."
Gerry Bunn, 69, lives just off the A413 outside Little Chalfont, he said: "I think it's highly desirable to keep the street lights on, especially along the A413 after dark.
"I think it would be good to have some electronic reminder signs of drivers' speeds too to let them know what speed they are doing and it shouldn't be over 50mph.
"There's a lot of cyclists who use roads around the bottom of Cokes Lane and Bottom House Farm Lane, so it would be beneficial."
Cllr Mike Colston, BCC councillor for Great Missenden, has promised to keep campaigning to have lights switched on his area.
He said: "The A413 at the junction with Aylesbury Road has been part of the street lights trial which has just finished and there has been no real incidents.
"I will still be campaigning for the lights to be put back on though as I have fears about that road - it can be quite dangerous particularly when it's dark and the weather's bad. When you are budgeting though, officers have to go on evidence and be evidence-based."
The council have made their recommendations on the trial and will now consult on them from Monday (October 17) to December 11 - to see the consultation go to: www.buckscc.gov.uk/haveyoursay