Town split over street light row

Nadv 1209196AM Street lighting. (1209196AM)

Nadv 1209196AM Street lighting. (1209196AM)

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A debate is raging about the merits of a move to switch off more than half of Harrogate’s street lights for five hours a night.

The county council has brought in the blackout, from midnight to 5am, to cut carbon emissions and save as much as £400,000.

But the move - in force since the end of last week - has proved to be quite controversial.

“This is absolute madness,” said a reader called La Gioconda, joining a debate on the Harrogate Advertiser website. “Crime will increase in the low crime areas. With the appalling state of many pavements people will be at a far higher risk of falls - can HBC afford vast amounts of compensation?”

As reported in the Advertiser, more than half of Harrogate’s street lights, about 58 per cent, have already been switched off.

The decision was approved by the county council executive and will be introduced across the wider borough by 2014.

Online, reader Mikey D said he had felt “uncomfortable” walking home late at night.

“I got to thinking that had I been younger or female I really wouldn’t be happy,” he said.

But not everybody is against the move - an online poll has found that 60 per cent of people think it’s a good idea.

“I hope nobody is seriously complaining”, said reader Renshaw Woods. “The article states one of the main reasons is reduction in the carbon footprint. So that’s a thousand polar bears saved then.”

LapsangSouchong added: “I doubt the doom-laden predictions of muggings will come true. “On the positive side, we reduce light pollution, save money, and save carbon pollution.”

What do you think? Join the debate at www.harrogateadvertiser.co.uk.