Sep 20 2011 By Jack Abell
Philip Scott-Shurety has come up with the Spanswitch II
A FORMER taxi driver from Manchester believes that he has the answer to Buckinghamshire's street lighting problems.
Philip Scott-Shurety, 45, has developed a device called Spanswitch II, which he has tested out roads in the north of England.
Mr Scott-Shurety set up the company Streets Ahead Innovations UK, or SAIK UK, following an accident which left him with difficulties driving on unlit roads.
He said: "I lost the sight in an eye in an accident three years ago, and after that I found it really difficult to drive at night if there were no street lights.
"I've always enjoyed designing things and coming up with possible new products, so I started working on a new idea to improve street lighting."
The Spanswitch II is a device which is triggered by cars driving near to it.
When it senses a car driving past, it switches on a group of between 20 and 30 street lights, meaning that lights are only turned on when there is traffic on the roads.
It aims to save money and carbon emissions by doing this.
Mr Scott-Shurety is now trying to interest Bucks County Council (BCC) in the device following criticism of their plans to switch off street lights on roads around the county.
He said: "I read on the Buckinghamshire Advertiser website about the case of Elaine Stacey, who died on an unlit road in Chalfont St Peter.
"I also read about how unhappy people are about the street lighting situation in the county, and I think that this product could be the solution."
He has interest from a number of local authorities around the county, and is now hoping to interest BCC in the plan.
He said: "My device allows drivers to be safe, while at the same time saving councils money, so I am hoping that they will want to use it."
Driver Peter Goode of Gerrards Cross, who has spokenout against BCC's plans to turn street lights off in the past, said: "It seems like a great idea. If it is practical then it looks as if it would solve all the problems by keeping drivers safe and saving the county council money.
"I think that BCC needs to seriously consider this idea as a solution to the street liight issue.
"So many people are unhappy about the current plans to switch the lights off that they should be looking at alternatives, and this looks like a good one."
Bucks County Council said that no decision has yet been made on the future of street lighting in the county and that discussions about the issue are still ongoing.
To watch a demonstration of the Spanswitch II, go to www.saiuk.co.uk