Stratford's Streetlighting - an alternative view

I have read the saga of the street lights* with some interest, and I couldn't help but think that things are not entirely one-sided.

I am generally against having any street lights in this type of location.

Pedestrians don't need a lot of light in order to be able to safely get about. Just enough to check if there are any unexpected obstructions on the pavement (this area is fully pavemented, so they don't need to avoid traffic). There is frequently a surprising amount of secondary light from the moon or reflected from the sky from Salisbury. You can not read a newspaper, but you can easily see and move around. For anyone with particularly poor eyesight, or on particularly dark evenings, a torch easily solves the problem. 

In some places, there is a genuine fear of attack in areas of poor light. Stratford-sub-castle is not one of those places.

Cyclists do not need street lights (otherwise they would be banned from cycling in the countryside).

So what is the problem with street lights? Wildlife has spent several thousands of years evolving in a habitat where it gets dark at night. It is only in the last 50-100 years that there has been so much light around at night, and it really disturbs wildlife. Some find it difficult to sleep (or stop protecting their territory) and those who need the dark to hunt, find it very distracting.

True dark is wonderful and the stars provide a magnificent spectacle. Unfortunately, there are very few places that provide us with true darkness these days. Perhaps we should celebrate those cases where we get "nearly dark" as we get in this area.

Richard Death

* The news story to which Richard refers, is here is a non-profit site maintained by local residents.

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