Chepstow streetlight switch-off threatens drunks

Chepstow will soon become the latest British locality to turn off streetlights during the wee hours, over the protests of taxi drivers who have provided yet another reason why it's a bad idea: They might run over hard-to-see drunks.

'The manager of Bulwark-based M & R Taxis, Chris Whittaker said turning off lights in residential areas was 'incomprehensible' and said that in the early hours of the morning it's difficult to spot people, who may have been drinking, as they cross the road,' the South Wales Argus reported.

Chepstow on Aug. 28 will start turning off street lights between midnight and 5 in the morning in an effort save £180,000, part of a £9 million cost reduction plan by Monmouthshire council.

The Welsh town joins many other UK areas in making such a move. But while Loughborough, Exeter, Essex, Warwickshire and others are going dark, localities like Gloustershire and the Borough of Wigan are spending money on cost-saving LED street lamps, as the great British streetlighting debate rages.

If the switch off does indeed save Chepstow money, then perhaps a small celebration would be in order. But the locals should be well advised not to drink to that.

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Photo: Keep your eyes on the road. Once the streetlights go out in Chepstow (pictured) beware wayward pedestrians, taxi drivers warn. Image is from Robert Edwards/Geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia