Residents have complained that the streets of Knaresborough are being plunged into darkness before 11pm – and it seems the reason is that the street lights don’t know what time it is.
Street lights have been turning off at around 10:40pm in some areas of the town since the clocks were changed to GMT on October 27.
Laura Rogers, of Hay-a-Park, tweeted to say the lights on her street had been going off as early as 10.30pm. “It’s not nice for us on shiftwork,” she added.
On Facebook, Emma Knights complained that lights on Chain Lane had been switching off at 10.45pm and said: “It’s not very safe at all.”
County Coun Anne Jones has raised the matter with the county council. She said: “There is obviously some sort of glitch. 10.30pm is far too early, it doesn’t comply with the last bus and I hope people were able to get home safely.”
North Yorkshire County Council has said the lights have not yet calibrated since the clocks changed, adding that this process can take between nine to 13 days.
A spokesman said: “The longer they are in situ, the more accurate they become. The calibration process can be interrupted by a number of variables including adverse weather conditions, local power disruptions and, at this time of year, the switch between BST and GMT.
“It should also be noted that when everything is working perfectly there is still a plus or minus 15 minute variation possible.”
In 2012 North Yorkshire County Council launched a scheme switching off more than half of Harrogate and Knaresborough’s street lights for five hours a night.
The plan was intended to cut carbon emissions and save the council £400,000 a year.
Knaresborough town councillor and Eastfield resident Coun Andrew Willoughby said: “When councillors agreed to this in the first place, I can’t imagine this amount of time adjusting was explained to them. It’s not two or three days, it takes nine to 14 which is crackers. It just doesn’t seem to be working.
“This wouldn’t matter if it was going off between 1am and 2am but at 10:45 the pubs are still open, the last bus is still running and people might be walking home.”