‘Crime blackspots’ claim on plan to cut half of street lighting

View of Vernon road in the dark.Picture Richard Ponter 123914d
View of Vernon road in the dark.Picture Richard Ponter 123914d
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Scarborough’s town centre could be plunged into darkness after plans emerged to pull the plug on street lights throughout the area.

North Yorkshire County Council are planning on turning off around half of Scarborough’s street lights between the wee hours of midnight and 5am from as early as April.

Street lights switch off map, Scarborough. submitted pic

Street lights switch off map, Scarborough. submitted pic

Bar Street, The Crescent, Vernon Road and St Nicholas Gardens are some of the streets which will be affected by the proposals.

Around half of the street lights in Foreshore Road would also be turned off as the authority look to make savings of £400,000 a year through the region-wide scheme.

However, concerns have now been raised by a senior councillor, who feels that the blackout could elevate levels of crime in the town.

Scarborough Councillor Colin Challen has serious concerns about the changes, and has urged North Yorkshire County Council to carry out a pilot scheme before rushing into the decision.

Street lights switch off map, Scarborough. submitted pic

Street lights switch off map, Scarborough. submitted pic

And he believes the changes could unwillingly create a “curfew” for elderly and vulnerable people, adding: “I think a lot of people will be wary of leaving the house after a certain time.

“We also need the street lights for our CCTV, as the cameras often depend on the street lighting to pick incidents up.

“I’m not terribly impressed with the county council, and I just feel this is going to cause a lot of problems.”

Currently, on the county council website, all the street lights in Scarborough are still under review.

Street lights switch off map, Scarborough. submitted pic

Street lights switch off map, Scarborough. submitted pic

However, maps obtained by The Scarborough News show lighting plans for the Central and Castle wards.

It shows that the impact of these cuts on many of the town centre streets, such as Westborough and Newborough, will either be minimal or nonexistent.

However, around half of the lighting in locations such as Alma Square, Princess Street and Huntress Row will be lost.

The maps show that there are plans to remove at least part of the lighting on the majority of the town centre streets.

Street lights switch off map, Scarborough. submitted pic

Street lights switch off map, Scarborough. submitted pic

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said: “Whilst the primary purpose of road and street lighting is highway safety, we acknowledge that fear of crime is an important consideration when assessing our proposals.

“The Council has worked closely with the police and others to ensure that the proposals will not adversely impact on community safety.