WREXHAM councillors have voted to press ahead with turning off street lighting to improve the environment.

The move would not entirely switch off street lighting in residential areas but lights on main A roads could be switched off to save on carbon emissions.

Wrexham executive board yesterday discussed a strategy which could lead to residential streets having dimmed street lights or a reduced standard of lighting.

The plans are part of the Corporate Carbon Emission and Energy Use Reduction which Wrexham Council must adhere to along with the rest of the UK.

The council owns about 12,500 street lighting units and the annual bill for the service is £460,000.

A report to the council’s executive said: “The project intention is to reduce the amount of energy and consequently the carbon footprint used by the lights by a variety of measures, without compromising the safety of road users and residents.”

The first phase of the project is to replace 1,600 lights on the A roads with energy efficient lights which would be dimmed or turned off completely after peak times.

The second phase will focus on dimming or partly lighting the 700 lights across three industrial estates during the night.

The final phase will look at having residential lights dimmed or at a reduced standard during the night.

The report said: “While they are predominately for the safety of road users, they do provide a significant community safety role and whilst it would not be possible to turn off large quantities, dimming or reducing the overall standard of lights required can be achieve without reducing the safety concerns of the public.”

Lead member for environment and transport, Cllr David Bithell, said: “We are not going to be switching lights off in residential areas.

“We will identify where the lights can be turned off. It will be LED lighting and part dimming lights.”

Members voted in favour of the plans which also ask community councils to consider providing additional funding for the street lights.

Strategic and performance director Phil Walton said: “The council has got a legal obligation to reduce carbon emissions.”

Part of the energy reduction will also involve replacing boilers and controls in the local authority’s schools, leisure centres and other council buildings.

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