Selective part-night street lighting
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Selective part-night street lighting

Due to increasing energy costs and the need to reduce Leeds’ carbon emissions and light pollution, we introduced selective part-night street lighting on main traffic routes in October 2013. Although this was a new initiative to Leeds, it is not a new idea and has been successfully introduced by other Local Authorities since 2007.

New technologies such as LEDs and solar power have been explored; however, these are still relatively expensive compared to the introduction of part-night lighting. Leeds will continue to monitor future developments of these technologies. 


By introducing these proposals it has the potential to save around £1.3 million over 10 years at the current energy prices (October 2014). As energy costs continue to increase the potential savings could be even greater. It will also help to reduce carbon emissions for street lighting by 4.7% per year between midnight and 5.30 am. 

Please note that all street lights will continue to be lit until midnight and the majority of lights will remain operational throughout the night. Only those selected to be part-night switched will go out at midnight. Signage will identify the lights that will be part-night switched. Site specific maps are available on the Part night street lighting route maps page.

Further information

If you would like to contact us about any of the information on this page please use the general highways reporting form​.​​​​

Click to expandWhat is part-night street lighting?

Part-night street lighting is the term we use for a light that switches off for part of the night.

Click to expandCan the council legally turn off the lights?

​​Yes. There is no statutory requirement on Local Authorities in the UK to light the highway. The law states that:

•The Highways Act empowers local authorities to light roads but does not place a duty to do so.
•The Council has a duty of care to road users and has an obligation to light permanent obstructions on the highway, such as speed humps and central refuges.
•The Electricity at Work Regulations impose a duty on owners and operators of electrical equipment to ensure its safety​​

Click to expandWill all street lights be affected?

All street lights could potentially be part-night switched unless they meet the avoidance criteria. However, as part of the current proposals we are anticipating that only 8,000 of the 92,000 street lights in Leeds will be affected. This will consist of a combination of main roads and residential streets.  ​

Click to expandWhat is the avoidance criteria?

Prior to any lights being switched off, on-site risk assessments will be carried out by our Street Lighting team using the avoidance criteria below.

 Part-night switching will be avoided:

-On roads with a significant road traffic accident record during the proposed switch-off period. 
-In areas with an above average record of crime during the proposed switch-off period. 
-In areas with a police record of frequent anti-social behaviour during the proposed switch-off period. 
-In areas provided with CCTV local authority / police surveillance equipment 
-In areas with sheltered housing and other residences accommodating vulnerable people. 
-Around 24hr operational emergency services sites, including hospitals. 
-At formal pedestrian crossings, subways and enclosed footpaths and alleyways where one end links to a street that is lit all night.
-Where there are potential hazards on the highway such as roundabouts, central carriageway islands, chicanes and traffic calming features. 
-Where public transport stops are in use during the proposed period of switch-off (this was included in response to consultation feedback)


Click to expandWhich lights will be switched?

Please refer to the 'Part-night street lighting site maps' link in the Related Pages section on this page to see maps of which streets and lights are affected.

Click to expandWhat are the part-night switching times?

The street lights will be switched off from midnight to 5:30am. The original proposals suggested switching the street lights back on at 6am, however, following on from consultation feedback the time was brought forward.

Click to expandHow will I know if a light in my street is being converted to part-night lighting?

All residents who live on a street where one or more of the street lights have been selected to be part-night switched will receive a letter notifying them of our proposals and provide more detailed information.​​

Click to expandWhen will the first street lights be switched off?

The part-night switching initiative commenced in October 2013 on main traffic routes and has been rolled out across Leeds. The programme is moving into residential areas in November 2014 and will progress across the city over the next 2 years.​​

Click to expandHow will I know whether a street light is part night switched or just not working?

​Once selected, lights that are affected in residential areas will have a sign attached. On main roads signs have already been installed on the approach to indicate to pedestrians and motorists that they are entering a part night lighting area. ​​​

Click to expandWhy can't you switch off every other light?

​​Traffic Routes - It is understandable that this may be seen as desirable to maintain at least some light in a street. However, there is a concern for drivers that the eye is unable to adapt quickly enough to the rapid “on/off” difference in light levels leading to the potential for reduced night time visibility and a potential increase in accidents. For this reason we would recommend that at least three lights in a row are converted to part-night switching on main traffic routes.

Residential Routes - When assessing street lights on residential streets, which generally carry little vehicular traffic other than that generated mainly by residents, it is reasonable to expect vehicles to be travelling at much lower speeds; therefore, the adverse effect of varying light levels is reduced and it is for this reason that it is considered reasonable to turn off alternate lights.​​

Click to expandWill I get a reduction in my council tax?

No, however this initiative may help to reduce future council tax rises.​​

Click to expandHow can requests be made to turn the lights back on?

If you have received notification that a light in your street is to be part-night switched and you believe it is covered by the avoidance criteria, please call 0113 222 4407 or write to:
Highways and Transportation,
Selective Part-night Street Lighting,
Selectapost 6
Middleton Ring Road
Leeds LS10 4AX
Alternatively contact your local Ward Councillor – details can be found using the the link: ​​​​​​​​

Contact your ward councillor

Click to expandHow long will it take to complete the part-night switch off?

Each road requires and individual assessment so it's anticipated that it will take up to three years before all identified streetlights have been assessed and part-night switches have been installed. The initiative should be completed by autumn 2016.​

Click to expandMonitoring

Reviews will be undertaken by the Street Lighting Partnership Group (membership includes the Emergency Services and our Officers, including the Road Casualty Manager) to determine any cause for concern and action to be taken. If, at any time, the records suggest that there is an unacceptable change in the incidence of crime or road traffic accidents and that the alteration to the street lighting is identified as the cause, then the energy saving measures will be terminated at that location.​

Click to expandConsultation Review - Key Findings

-67% agreed with switching street lights off from midnight or sooner
-62% agreed with switching street lights back on at 6am or later
-69% agreed with switching street lights off on residential roads
-67% agreed with switching street lights off on main roads
-75% agreed with switching off street lights to save energy costs and carbon emissions
-71% agreed that street lighting helps reduce the fear of crime
-84% agreed with the criteria for where part-night switching should be avoided
-25% of respondents who classified themselves as disabled, are more likely to be out at least once or more times a week after midnight
-25% of respondents living in the Inner South area were more likely to agree to increasing council tax charges to fund increased energy costs

There was no significant difference between gender responses. 

Additional comments that were received as part of the consultation process were included in the overall analysis. The consultation feedback report is available in the downloads section of this page.

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