STREET lights turned off at night to save money in South Gloucestershire could stay on for an extra hour under new proposals.

Night lighting is one of various items being considered by members of the council’s planning, transportation and strategic environment committee at its meeting this Wednesday, March 26.

Under the proposals, lights in urban areas that are included within the district's ‘part-night’ lighting scheme will remain lit for an extra hour from midnight to 1am.

The council said this was to help night-time travelling and if passed would be introduced in the coming year.

The council first adopted part-night lighting as a policy in 2008, with the aim of cutting carbon emissions by 2,000 tonnes a year and reducing annual street light energy consumption by a fifth, saving £250,000.

Campaigners around the county have been appealing for the lights to be turned back on at night, citing safety concerns.

An online petition launched in November has so far gathered 1,774 signatures.

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesman said the scheme had been working well.

The spokesman told the Gazette: “The safety and security of our residents and road users is paramount and it is important to note that when taking the decision to switch lights to part-night operation we refer to detailed criteria designed to promote the safety of the travelling public as well as residents.

“Evidence from South Gloucestershire and other areas shows that where this careful approach is taken part-night lighting has no noticeable adverse effect on crime levels.”

Around a third of South Gloucestershire’s 30,000 street lights stay lit during the night, with the rest on part-night hours.