New figures have revealed that road accidents and injuries have fallen since the controversial decision to switch off Caerphilly County Borough’s street lights.
Lights along non-residential roads were switched off last year in a bid to save cash and reduce the authority’s carbon footprint.
However, there have been no accidents and no injuries between midnight and 5.30am since the decision by the Plaid Cymru-led council
Plaid leaders have revealed that 17 members of the public had registered a complaint or inquiry about the policy. The move has saved £150,000 a year in electricity costs for the local authority as well as reducing its carbon footprint by 898 tonnes.
Ron Davies, Plaid Cymru’s candidate for Caerphilly and a council cabinet member said: “There were lots of scare stories from Labour councillors and the Assembly Member for Caerphilly over the impact of the policy to switch off the lights when there are few vehicles on the road.
“But, as usual, with Labour they don’t let the facts spoil their letters and Press releases. They must be hugely embarrassed now – and should apologise to the public for their unnecessary scare tactics.
“A review carried out by the council has revealed clearly that accidents fell compared to the period before the decision was taken and no one had been injured in an accident when the lights were switched off. Carbon emissions have also been reduced considerably and money has been saved, which is great.”
Lindsay Whittle, council leader and a candidate for South East Wales, said: “Officers of the authority analysed data on injuries in road accidents and compared the numbers of collisions in 2009 and 2010.
“The amending of lighting times on inter-urban routes was risk assessed and led to investment in studs and appropriate markers to help road users travelling during the late night to early morning period.
“The data, so far, indicates that the lighting withdrawal has had no effect on the personal injury collisions occurring on the inter-urban road network. In fact, collisions under comparable circumstances have fallen from have fallen from three to zero.”
Road accident figures – Source: Plaid Cymru
2009 – Data from 1/9/2009 to 31/12/2009
There were a total of 83 personal injury collisions (day and night collisions) recorded for this quarter. 23 collisions are recorded as being in dark conditions, of which 17 occurred on roads in the urban settlement areas and 6 occurred along inter urban roads.
Considering all collisions occurring in dark conditions, only 3 were during the period 12 midnight until 5.30am and all occurred on inter urban roads.
2010 – Data from 1/9/2010 to 31/12/2010
There were a total of 77 personal injury collisions recorded (day and night collisions) for this quarter. 20 collisions are recorded as being in dark conditions of which 17 occurred on roads in the urban settlement areas and three occurred along inter urban roads.
Considering all collisions occurring in dark conditions, no personal injury collisions were recorded during the period 12 midnight until 5.30am.
Collisions under comparable circumstances have fallen from have fallen from three to zero.