LED streetlights (left) are to be dimmed. Orange sodium lights (right) already are. That leaves only one night time light source untouched - the moon (Centre

Penarth’s three available sources of light at night: LED street-lights (left) , orange sodium street lights (right) – and the moon (centre).  Now the LED street-lights are to be dimmed as well as the sodium lights –  leaving the moon as the only illumination after midnight in many parts of the town

Plans to make further reductions in street-lighting in Penarth and throughout the Vale of Glamorgan are to be discussed by the Vale Council’s ruling ‘cabinet’ on Monday .

Council officers are to present the ‘cabinet’ with four different “options” for making yet further economies in street lighting

Street lights in Penarth were installed automatic switches to turn them off after midnight

Street lights in Penarth were installed with automatic switches to turn them off after midnight

Currently the Vale Council has a total of 15,902 street lights – of which 5,113 are economical LED (light emitting diode) lights and the rest mostly the orange sodium kind.

In October 2014 the Vale Council decided to cut costs by retaining its LED lights and switching off  70% of the remaining lights at 24:00 (midnight) each night  – a process it calls “part-nighting”. This was supposed to save £371,862.71 a year in electricity costs – but was going to cost £350,385 to implement – and was to pay for itself in 0.9 years.

In the event however  specially set-up  “Part-Night Lighting Board” found that only 65% (7,400 street-lights) could actually be switched to “part-night” operation.

More street-light cuts are in the offing.

More street-light cuts are in the offing.

COMPLAINTS : The Vale Council’s  dimming and switch-off decisions have provoked scores of complaints from the public. Up to this month a total of  225 people have complained to the council about the street lights being doused – and about what a council report describes as “overly dark areas in residential streets“.

Despite this however, the Vale Council is now trying to slash yet more street-lighting costs and is considering new options for further reductions which involve “dimming” the newer LED lights – which many people claim are already pretty dim anyway.

All new and existing LED lamps can apparently be programmed to dim at certain times of the evening / morning and to a range of power levels.

At 11:45 today Sunday April 24th several streetlights in Penarth were on including these at Church Road, Bridgeman Road and Beach Road

At 11:45 today Sunday April 24th several streetlights in Penarth were still on in broad daylight  including these at Church Road, Bridgeman Road and Beach Road

Officers are now recommending the council should implement a new “preferred option” which is summarised as “Dim existing LED lights at midnight and invest £1,200,000 in 2016/17 and £100,000 in 2017/18 and 2018/19 in LED residential street lighting – which are also to be dimmed at midnight.”

The payback period for this is estimated at 7.54 years and the council says it would provide “considerable savings whilst also allowing for consistent and appropriate lighting levels to be achieved throughout the Vale.”

Some Penarth residents say the council should start economising by turning off street lights which are on during broad daylight

Some Penarth residents say the council should start economising by turning off street lights which are left on during broad daylight

The council – wary of public reaction – says “Complaints are likely to be less than all other options as there will be no unlit areas.It should not be forgotten that currently almost 50% of the Council’s total street lighting stock is turned off at midnight.”

A council report says that “In any event complaints of poor lighting will be much easier to deal with, as increasing the lighting output from any column would be a simple matter of reprogramming the LED controls ”

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  1. Martin Coffee says:

    If God hadn’t intended us to be out after midnight he wouldn’t have created… torches.

    • Philip Rapier says:

      Thankfully the Vale of Glamargan Council will itself soon be a dimly lit memory from the past.
      The Westminster Government Guidelines demand a transitional phased in reduction in lighting when pedestrians are moving from 100% to a 50% level of illumination. This is to avoid disorientatation of the partially sighted residents. I am greatly concerned there is no mention of these transitional arrangements in the PDN article.

      • newsnet says:

        There is no specific mention in the Vale Council report of any “transitional” provision for partially-sighted people or for disabled people in any category.
        The council does however state that it “has a legal duty to protect users of the public highway and its liabilities in respect to this will have to be assessed and carefully managed to avoid any additional third party risks resulting from the lighting changes”.

  2. David Moorcraft says:

    “The council – wary of public reaction…..”

    Sorry, I thought this Council was gloriously indifferent to public opinion, – not given to public debate about its actions.
    Witness the wholesale massacre of trees in Penarth; the threatened re-imposition of a Skate-board in Paget Rd park, despite manifest opposition; the awful, dysfunctional 100-tonne “Observation Platform” which has spoilt Headland Park, to mention just a few.
    And Penarth Town Council, and Civic Societies remain almost silent.

  3. Jenny james says:

    Don’t forget the lack of a beacon…….and don’t get me started on the state of the pavements

  4. Fiona Whitfield says:

    Pavements in broad daylight are awful,you have to keep your eyes on the ground-many a time friends think im ignoring them as ive already twisted my ankle twice-what about night workers?

  5. John64 says:

    Save money! That’s a laugh. Street lights where I live go out at 12.30 AM (not that late for many these days) and come on again at 6.30 when for a few weeks and until months go by it is light. Why not replace the light heads, when needed, with solar powered LED’s with PIR’s that would light up as people approach and switch off once they pass?

  6. Vic says:

    Instead of paying for men and expensive machinery (hydraulic platform), just to go around adjusting timers etc., they could’ve saved a whole load of cash by not building that ‘carbuncle’ on Penarth Head Park. I recently read that Penarth Police report higher rates of car theft – I wonder if it is related to darker streets?

  7. snoggerdog says:

    if the lights are going out,can someone invent glow in the dark dog food!

    • Martin gossage says:

      Our dog doesnt need lights to find the dog food .What about you snoggerdog?

  8. David Davis says:

    I agree totally with Mr Moorcroft and Jenny James , this Council is supremely indifferent to public opinion , and have their priorities all wrong, what a sensible person would do before reducing street lights is to ensure the pavement is in a decent and safe condition. But not this Mickey Mouse Council . You want the streets swept more often do you ? (The Councils likely reply) “tell you what we will build a viewing platform on the headland that nobody asked for and is a total waste of time and money plus its in a dangerous position , only feet from the cliff edge, that should use up the money we could have spent on paving”. The Lane near me is nowadays swept only very infrequently , when I complained to the Council that it used to be swept every 2 weeks , I was told , “well now it gets swept every 3 months” and he added , “if your lucky”. The Council acts in a sort of reverse roll , “want your paving improved ??” , “tell you what we will cut down a few trees and then a few more that should give you more room to walk” , “oh and while we are at it although we have pollarded the trees to look like ugly logs stuck in the ground we will go round every year and cut off the twigs or shoots that appear, after all we don’t want ash tree sap dropping on cars and damaging paintwork do we? I myself have twice just avoided putting my foot in a left open grate on the pavement , (which I think is a water stop tap) and this due to poor lighting on Plassey St.

    • Ivor Bagman says:

      Since they built the platform on the Head
      They lock the gates so that
      I cannot sit there at dawn and dusk
      To watch the bats flying ,

  9. Timothy Hughes says:

    I quite like walking around in the dark so quite like this new policy, whoever decided on it. I also quite like the viewing platform. I am not sure about all these people who don’t though, perhaps I will give them the benefit of the doubt.

  10. David Davis says:

    To my mind the viewing platform on the headland is part of an accident waiting to happen , if and when the fairy tale ‘ Road To Nowhere ‘ is built at the bottom of the cliff , we only have to wait for the right conditions to appear for the weight of the ,’viewing platform’ to affect the cliff face , I think 80/100? tonnes of weight only 9 feet from the cliff face will eventually cause a rock fall which with a bit of imagination is likely bring tons of rock down upon the cliff bottom walkway, to my mind that will only be a matter of time even if its a number of years hence.

    • Timothy Hughes says:

      Lots of errors here. It is not not a road but a walk/cycle way. It is not planned to be at the bottom of the cliff but some distance away. The distance is to ensure that there is no danger from the cliff. The critical issue here is not a large landslide but single large boulders falling from a height and bouncing of the exposed rock on the beach and hitting the proposed walkway. The erosion rates are in fact very low so it is likely to be many many years.

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