Judy wins support for shorter switch-off plea

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Town leaders have backed calls for more streetlights to stay on between midnight and 6am in Berkhamsted.

They have been turned off between those times since February as part of a Herts County Council drive to cut its costs and be greener.

But Judy Birch of the town’s North Road wrote to Berkhamsted Town Council to ask that more streetlights are kept on constantly for now.

She said the county-wide switch-off curfew should be shortened to 1am to 5am for the time being.

The council agreed to support her proposal and mayor Ron Cowie, who said her idea was ‘very sensible’.

Ian Reay, a town and county councillor for Berkhamsted, said roads bosses plan to review the streetlighting changes in about a year’s time.

But he said: “The likelihood is they will switch more lights off, rather than switch lights back on.”

He said 73 per cent of the town’s streetlights now go off from midnight to 6am but are left on in selected areas, such as near traffic hazards.

Mrs Birch wrote: “It is not difficult to find oneself arriving home after midnight.” She said it happened to her after going to a London theatre show, and that her husband has had to walk to catch a train in the dark before 6am. She fears that if people are encouraged to use exterior house lights with presence detectors, more streetlights could go off for good.

Mr Cowie said: “We agree to refer these points to the county council, saying we support them.”