Middlewich Road near Nantwich closed, street lights, 50mph speed

Residents in Cheshire East will be asked for views on the street light switch-off plans proposed by the council to save energy and costs, writes Belinda Ryan.

The CEC highways and transport committee has voted unanimously to go out to consultation on the switch-off plan.

Committee chair Craig Browne assured councillors that, after feedback from the consultation had been taken into account, the final set of proposals would go back to highways and transport before any changes are implemented.

He said the switch-off was needed because of soaring energy prices.

“Even if we just stand still the energy costs are going to add £137,000 to the cost of streetlighting next year so we really can’t afford to do nothing,” said Cllr Browne.

He added: “I do support the introduction of this central management system which will give us the ability to override area-based times in the event of emergencies.”

He said when the switch-off is reviewed, after it’s been in place for a year or so, that system would also enable the council to respond to any issues identified in the review.

Cllr Hazel Faddes (Lab) said because the higher costs each year to the social care budget have to be met, this leaves a decreasing amount for funding for highways.

“We shouldn’t be faced with this decision, but if we cannot balance the budget Cheshire East would be forced into special measures which we could not afford,” she said.

The Crewe councillor said the report stated there is likelihood of increased slips, trips, falls and traffic collisions and that the elderly and disabled people would be affected adversely.

She said she believed the impact would also be greater on poorer areas because people tended to walk more.

Cllr Chris Hilliard (Wilmslow, Ind) asked that active travel routes be taken into account because active travel users are likely to have a lower standard of lights than cars. He said this group also may be primarily lower income.

The public consultation on the street lighting energy saving options is expected to take place in September and October.


  1. Just reading CEC requests, one being the consultation on street lighting, yet another CEC decision has decided to increase allowances by £500 – extract from article – (At present, all 82 councillors receive a basic allowance of £12,351, which will now increase by a flat £500 annually and be backdated to 2022/3.

    The special responsibility allowance (SRA) for committee chairs – which for most is £7,650 – will rise by 4.04%.)…….. Give themselves increases, yet expect cuts to be made elsewhere?????????

    On the street lighting, I live in rural area and on stretch of the A51 a couple years ago, our lighting was switched off – it was complete darkness and very dangerous, given motorists are speeding on that particular stretch of road, despite 40mph signage. Took over 2 years to get lighting put back on. I agree with previous comment, if lighting has to be switched, every other light should remain on.

  2. As a woman who lives on her own, has a spinal disability and own a dog which I walk in the evening, I don’t like this at all. BuT I understand that cuts must be made somewhere. I would hope that in areas where people are known to be walking, can the lights perhaps have every other light off, so that some of them remain to give security and help with safety issues? There are gated alleyways where I live in Crewe and the lights remain on there from dusk until dawn, yet hardly anyone is deepen there at night. Those that are, are taking their car to the backs of their houses, so would have headlights anyway. These could surely be switched off and residents reminded that gates should remain locked once the area is left.
    Also, during weekdays, the toen centres could have reduced lighting as there are not many people walking around there at night. Ofcourse zll of these should be looked at and consulted on.

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