Bible belt town residents win campaign to have red lights turned off

Barneveld by night. Photo: Kamiel Spoelstra / NIOO-KNAW

Residents of a new residential district in the staunch Bible belt town of Barneveld have won their campaign to have the bat-friendly red street lighting turned off.

People living in the Nesciostraat complained the lighting made it look like they lived in a red light district and reduced the value of their property.  The town council has now turned off the red lights and swapped some of the bulbs for traditional white lighting.

The street was given red street lighting, because bats are apparently less sensitive to that than traditional street lamps.

The council says that the neighbourhood is on a popular bat route and that by law it has to take steps to protect the animals. ‘As a local authority, we have to comply with the rules,’ a spokesman told local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland.

The council says it is now in talks with nature organisations to see if there is an alternative.

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