Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Let There Be Even More Light

There's nothing like having to pay your own electricity bill to encourage economy in the use of lighting. Conversely it takes a body like Bristol City Council to really waste energy, since whatever it costs comes out of our pockets, not their own.

Here near Temple Meads the spotlights are blaring around 7 pm when dusk is at about 10 pm at this time of year. Likewise around the centre and the glass arcade at St Nick's market (below). Now supposing you had some spotlights on your home coming on at 7 pm even at the height of summer, wouldn't it cross your mind that you were wasting energy, and money, and needlessly adding to carbon emissions? Yes, of course it would, and you'd soon do something about it.

But what if you work for Bristol City Council? Do you notice? Do you care? Is it your responsibility? Probably the answer is 'no' to at least one of those questions, because as we see nothing gets done about even such a simple matter. That's the nature of the beast. The Council is impersonal and irresponsible. Corporate responsibility means no one takes individual responsibility. Yet so many people want to give more corporate 'responsibility' to the same body to address environmental issues. People, they can't even be bothered to switch the bloody lights off!


Cllr Mark Wright said...

The paving lights being on during the day is absurd. (Actually, as a former astrophysicist I don't like those things on during the night either - they are terrible for light-pollution in the sky!)

St Nick's market could possibly be justified on a dull day (i.e. most days) as it gets quite dark in there. But they should just have them on a sensor then it would fix itself.

Chris Hutt said...

The St Nick's pic was taken at 7.21 pm on 4th July, last Saturday. It was effectively broad daylight and the sunlight through the glass roof illuminated everything perfectly well. Absolutely no need for the lights to be on.

Jon Rogers said...

Thanks Chris

I will raise with officers.


woodsy said...

Looks to me as if the council has not been enforcing its own Sustainable Building guidelines in your first 2 photographs.

One of the 5 key objectives of these is "minimise pollution to water, air and soil and minimise noise and light pollution".

Yet another example of BCC's policy of 'do as I say, not as I do'?

Harry M said...

One reason we don't need street lighting on footpaths/cyclepaths around St Werburghs

Jon Rogers said...

Officer update, "Uplighters on the centre are looked after by Harbour Officer`s group,St Nicks by the market manager and Temple Gate by the management company that look after all that estate. I am forwarding this to the appropriate parties."

Have a good weekend all


MJ Ray said...

"Temple Gate by the management company that look after all that estate"

Oh joy. Hope it's not the same company that manages the hospital estate near me, else it'll take six months and two visits by a contractor that understands the German lighting controller system (or it was something like that - I forget the precise details).

Really, what's their commercial incentive to stop light pollution? Avoid a tiny bit of bad PR? I suspect you'll need to keep chasing this.

Peter said...

How about the absurd amount of lighting that is left switched on overnight during construction work? The work on the Industrial Museum is a great example... as was the HBOS building now complete. (One night I counted over 100 lights blazing in the HBOS construction.)

I raised this with Cllr Mark Wright who said that it was done for safety... in case anyone broke in to the developments. I thought that the comment was absurd.

Peter Hale

Bristol Dave said...

I assume these lights run on a timer, unless they're on all day (which I doubt).

I'd put money on a light sensor (so they only come on when it's dark) being the same sort of price.