Rye residents to have their say over lighting cut-back

Switch on of Rye Xmas lights at the George Hotel, High Street, Rye'04.12.10.'Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY 'Lion Street'BH50701l
Switch on of Rye Xmas lights at the George Hotel, High Street, Rye'04.12.10.'Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY 'Lion Street'BH50701l

RYE residents will get their chance to raise any concerns over plans to turn off street lights overnight in the town.

East Sussex County Council, which is pushing the proposals through to save money, is holding a public consultation at Rye Library on Saturday from 9.30am - noon.

The proposals will see street lights turned off completely at Tilling Green and Kings Avenue from 12.30am and 5.30am.

White light lanterns will be dimmed to provide 50 percent of lighting between midnight and 6am on A roads and main roads; while in other areas half the street lights will be turned off overnight.

Rye county councillor Keith Glazier has said though that if the Rye consultation throws up any areas of particular concern, these will be taken into account.

He says there will be a full six month review following the implementation of the scheme.

Towns that have already gone through the process have not reported a rise in crime says the county council.

The object of the scheme is to reduce the county council’s carbon footprint, saving an estimated 25 tonnes of CO2 a year, as well as reducing running costs.

LED lights, being trialled in other areas of Sussex, have been deemed to expensive for the Rye scheme. An LED unit costs around £250 whereas each compact fluorescent bulb used costs just £2.50, as well as a one-off £50 to change the control equipment.

When the scheme was first announced some councillors raised concerns over residents tripping in the dark and called for a review of footpaths to ensure there were no trip hazards.

But East Sussex County Council has said it does not have the funds to carry out a review of that type.

Tilling Green residents have already raised some concerns over the proposal.

A spokesperson for Tilling Green Residents Association told Rye Town Council’s public services committee: “The night club in Ferry road stays open until 2am and a lot of young people from the estate go there.

Paving on the estate is already in a poor state and badly needs addressing.”

Rye county councillor Keith Glazier said: “There are two key drivers for the consultation on changing the lighting arrangements.

“First we are rightly charged with reducing our carbon footprint and are taking many measures including these to do this.

“Secondly we have to manage reducing resources and deliver services to the most vulnerable at a cost that people can afford.

“This will be the ninth town that we have rolled this out to and in every case the consultation has been very inclusive and many residents, the police and other councils have had there views listened too resulting in different solutions. There is no evidence that crime has increased after these measures have been introduced.”