Here’s why West Sussex street lights currently remain switched off in the dark mornings

Why are residents currently left in the dark
Why are residents currently left in the dark

According to West Sussex County Council, street lights become a common theme for residents’ questions between now and when the clocks go back.

People leaving their homes early in the morning often ask why the lights are not on, despite it being dark.

The council says that in summer when the clocks go forward to reflect British Summer Time (BST), the lights don’t. So during this time it appears the lights switch on an hour later.

Roger Elkins, county council Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “Rather than being faulty, this is because street lights in ‘part-night areas’ in West Sussex are factory set to come on according to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

“In the autumn, there’s a short period before the clocks go back when the lighting will not switch on until about 6.30am (BST). Once the clocks change back to GMT on Sunday, October 28, the lighting will revert to switching on at around 5.30am.

“The timings of the street lights are factory set and cannot be altered but get back in-sync with GMT after October 28.”

Street lighting facts:

- Part-night lighting in West Sussex runs from dusk to the middle of the night and from 5.30am GMT to dawn (may vary by 20 minutes either way).

- Most residential roads in West Sussex are lit to this lighting regime.

- All-night lighting in West Sussex runs from dusk to dawn.

- All town centres and main distributor roads are lit to this regime.

- All-night lighting dims by 40 per cent after the middle of the night until 5.30am GMT. It then reverts to full lighting level until dawn.

- West Sussex has in excess of 67,000 street lights and the part-night and dimming policy helps reduce energy bills, lowers carbon emissions, reduces light pollution and uses council tax payers’ money efficiently.

More information can be found at street lighting services