I’ve been away for a few days, and last night, when I went to bed, I locked up, switched all the lights off and noticed outside looked darker than before.

This was how it looked down my road…


No.. I haven’t just drawn a square of black – that’s exactly what my camera captured. The picture right at the top shows how it normally looks.

It was pitch black.

There wasn’t a fault with any of the streetlights, this is a genuine move by Essex County Council to cut costs, streetlights across the CITY of Chelmsford will be switched off between 12am-5am every day.

It’s bloody madness, of course they have it under the guise of ‘reducing costs and reducing the carbon footprint’. It’s all bollocks, they are just trying to save money. This is the council that has an estimated £200 million in reserve. Around 70% of streetlights across the city will be off, the only areas unaffected are the High Street and busy junctions, the rest is plunged into darkness.

Apparently this move has been taken because it’s worked well in other districts of Essex, it may have – but Chelmsford is different than all of the other towns in the county, it’s larger, it has a higher population, it’s a city, and of course, it has a higher crime rate. Apparently though, the crime rate ‘won’t’ increase – but let’s be honest, if you’re a criminal, what is more attractive  – complete darkness, or lit streets? I quite like my wander back from the city centre at night, I’m less thrilled by walking around in darkness if I’m honest..

If the council are wanting to save money on street lighting, why not look at dimming them? Or using something that uses less power, like LEDs? Darkness in the city is not a sensible solution.

Have your local council switched off the lights in the night? How do you feel about it?

7 thoughts on “Hey! Who turned out the streetlights?!

  1. justanormalmummy says:

    oh dear – that is a bit dark… I would think there’ll be a fair amount of uproar about that!

  2. Angela says:

    I’m absolutely furious. I got up to use the bathroom at 3am Monday morning and noticed how dark it was. I looked out of the window and thought I must be still asleep and having a nightmare. It was just pitch black – my usual friendly street looked like a graveyard. It feels spooky and unsafe. I couldn’t possibly be out there in the dark even with a torch. I don’t know how anyone with a car would be able to park. I feel sorry for the people who work late nights having to get home. I don’t suppose for one minute that the council will pass their savings on to us by reducing our council tax bills, but I for one will be installing an outside light and keeping a table lamp or two on for security – so that won’t help the environment either!

  3. Alex Walsh says:

    Ours go out at midnight. I was walking home from an event last week and the lights went out one at a time in front of me. It was like Nightmare on Elm St or something. Turns out the lights aren’t on a central timer, there’s a manual clock inside each of them and they’re not quite set in synch. Spooky as hell though.

  4. Mark Saltmarsh says:

    Breathtakingly stupid idea. We are not out in the countryside, there are trains still arriving in Chelmsford after midnight, so now we can’t walk home and we all have to take taxis. How does that ‘reduce the carbon footprint’?

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  6. Darkman says:

    It’s great, much easier to sleep in the dark. You want to see – use a torch. I do wonder how many of the folk complaining are actually out and about betwen 12 and 5am anyway. As for the hilarious comment about how people in a car would park, that’s just too easy! I like the dark. Oh and kip – you should probably look into buying a better camera

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