Crowborough residents make light of money-saving idea
HUGE swathes of Crowborough will be plunged into near-darkness at night.
Due to popular demand, most cul-de-sacs and side roads will have their streetlights switched off between 12.30 and 5.30am.
East Sussex County Council said the move will help the environment and save taxpayers' cash but most people responding to the idea just wanted to be reminded they lived in a rural area.
Anonymous feedback published by the council's highways team included comments such as: "We live in the countryside – people should expect to use their car headlights if driving and carry a torch if walking."
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One resident of Bridger Way wrote to say: "Turning the lights off after midnight would be good, as light shines through my bedroom window."
And someone in Crowborough Hill said: "I would like lights to be switched off as much as possible. They are ugly, expensive, wasteful, unnecessary and prevent the enjoyment of dark skies."
Steep Road resident Gaynor Kendall, who is used to having no lighting near her home, said: "They're just a waste of money. I feel safer out here than I would in the town and I hope people feel safer when their lights off are off too." Busier roads like Eridge Road, Crowborough High Street and Croft Road will only have lights dimmed between midnight and 6am. Thoroughfares like St John's Road will have half their lights turned off.
Some changes were made to the council's original proposals, with Green Lane's lighting left as it is because members of the public said it was "a relatively well-used cut-through to the A26".
Lights will also be left on for the benefit of drivers at busy junctions near Beeches Road and Poundfield Road.
Still, a few members of the public wanted streetlighting to remain as it is, citing safety concerns.
Ronald Adams, 85, from Fermor Road, said: "I'd rather the lights were left on. They act as a deterrent to crime and are helpful to people in out-of-the-way places.
"We had no lighting when I grew up in Gillridge Green – it was a desolate place. If the council needs to save money it should look at switching to a more economic tariff or using more energy-efficient bulbs."
A county council spokesman said: "Last year, we switched off some streetlights in Heathfield and Uckfield. The changes seem to have been well-received by residents and businesses in the area, and local police have had no increase in incidents reported to them."