ePetition details

Keep street lights on at night on Lemonfield Estate and Coates Way

We the undersigned petition the County Council to keep the street lights at on at night on the Lemonfield Estate and Coates Way, Watford to discourage any criminal activity and enable residents who do not have gardens to feel safe walking from their parked cars at night.

There appears to have been a surge in criminal activity in our local area. Roads are pitch black once street lights have turned off and residents are feeling scared and worried about personal safety and home security.

There have been a number of break ins and attempted break ins throughout the area. Additionally, many residents who do not have gardens feel unsafe walking from their parked cars at night.

Started by: Karen Sinclair

This ePetition ran from 31/03/2020 to 31/05/2020 and has now finished.

59 people signed this ePetition.

Council response

Response to petition: Keep streetlights on at night on Lemonfield Estate and Coates Way, Three Rivers District / Watford Borough

Firstly, the County Council was sorry to hear of the apparent surge in criminal activity in the local area covering Lemonfield Estate and Coates Way and appreciates the concern and anxiety this may have caused local residents.

There are two lighting regimes which operate across Hertfordshire and the level of lighting is as bright as deemed safe and operational by the County Council within those regimes:

i) Part Night Lighting (PNL, circa 75,000 units): lights switch on at full power at dusk, then dimmed by 50% at 9pm until 11pm, then further dimmed by 30% at 11pm until 1am, switch off until 5am, then at least equal to the lighting levels of the original installation from 5am until dawn.

ii) Full Night Lighting (FNL, circa 40,000 units): A Class Roads and PNL Exception Criteria - lights switch on at full power at dusk, then dimmed by 25% between the hours of 11pm and 6am.

There are circa 234 streetlights within the Lemonfield Estate and Coates Way area, with 163 part night lit and 71 full / all night lit.

Part Night Lighting has been in place across Hertfordshire for a number of years and was implemented to reduce carbon emissions and combat rising energy prices.

A full Equality Impact Assessment of the Part night lighting was undertaken in February 2011. All/most sections of the Hertfordshire population are equally impacted by changes to current all-night operation.

There is the potential for the partially sighted to experience greater difficulty during that period of the night when lighting is extinguished. For other groups, those distinguished by race, gender, other disabilities, caring responsibilities, age, sexual orientation and religious communities, the impact is likely to be consistent with that experienced by the wider population of the county.

Monitoring of crime rates was carried out in the early years of the project with no increases in crime due to the lack of lighting. Continuous monitoring since then has showed that, overall, there is no evidence to suggest that part night lighting has exacerbated crime levels at night. The local Chief Inspectors of Hertfordshire Constabulary across Hertfordshire confirmed this position in April 2018. Furthermore, the local Chief Inspectors of Hertfordshire Constabulary covering Three Rivers District and Watford Borough confirmed in April 2020 that most of the recent offences happened in the early evening and were a seasonal increase and therefore they do not consider that street lighting all night would provide any benefit.
The LED lighting project started in 2014 and the phased approach was completed at the end of March 2020 whereby all of Hertfordshire’s street lighting was converted to LED and are under Central Management System (CMS) control (that includes operating to the PNL regime described above), except for some specialist lighting in conservation areas, high masts, subways, illuminated signs and the like. The ten Districts have been substantially completed, with minimal adverse customer feedback.

Developments in technology mean we have been able to trial ‘dimming & trimming’ of new LED streetlights. This means, at no extra cost, the lights can remain on for longer at night time in a dimmed fashion thereby reducing the hours of full darkness. More information can be found in the report (and decision record) presented to the County Council’s Cabinet in October 2018 (https://democracy.hertfordshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=146&MId=1334); also in the report presented to the County Council’s Special Cabinet Panel on 3 June 2020 (and the associated minutes from the meeting) (https://democracy.hertfordshire.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=370&MId=2065).

An Equality Impact Assessment has been undertaken for subsequent phases of the LED conversion project. The Equality Impact Assessment for phase 4 was signed off in April 2018. Because of the installation of circa 111,000 LED lanterns in previous phases of the LED project, there have been no requests or complaints regarding any adverse impact on equality.

Minimal equality impacts have been identified regarding the change in the colour of the LED light source which may have an impact on members of the community who may have specific conditions regarding their vision. However, these impacts have been objectively justified and no major change is required to the project. The proposed LED street lighting illumination strategy (dimming and trimming) will improve the situation by reducing the aforementioned impacts. Reviews have been undertaken in October 2018 and in October 2019 and will be undertaken in October 2020.

The Part Night Lighting policy, combined with the switch to LED streetlights, has led to a 60% reduction in carbon emissions from street lighting as well as reducing light pollution, reducing demand for energy and avoiding around £5million a year on the council’s electricity bill, benefiting Hertfordshire’s taxpayers.

Given the above, the County Council have concluded that there is no justification to keep the streetlights on all night on the Lemonfield Estate and Coates Way.
It would be helpful to Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) for residents and customers to report such issues regarding street lighting as accurately and as specifically as possible via HCC’s Highway Fault Reporting system, which can be found here:
https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/Highways-roads-and-pavements/Report-a-problem/Report-a-street-light-or-pothole.aspx

I trust the above information is of assistance. Should you have any further enquiries, please contact CSCHighways@hertfordshire.gov.uk, tel no. 0300 123 4047.