Streetlights in residential areas in Surrey will remain on an hour later into the night, because the council overestimated the money the scheme would save.

From Thursday, November 23, lights will now be on until 1am, although they will remain off until 5am as before.

Cabinet member for Highways Colin Kemp announced the council was reinvesting the unexpected savings in the community.

He said the decision had also been made “in recognition of concerns raised by residents, particularly shift workers and those employed in the hospitality industry”.

The first tranche of lights began being switched off in Elmbridge between midnight and 5am in February this year, with another set being turned off in July.

Councillor Eber Kington, who represents Ewell Court, Auriol and Cuddington on the county council, said: “I think it’s a welcome move, but somewhat late given the fact we have argued for it for some time. Saying that, it’s not nearly enough.”

Night time crime went up by 20 per cent from last year in Epsom and Ewell after the lights were switched off, statistics recorded between March and July show.

That might have increased; the lights that were switched off in July were switched off after the data were collected.

Cllr Kington said: “What we feared has come to pass. If in fact the crime goes down that can only be a good thing, but it should never have happened. It’s about safety and people feeling safe.”

Surrey County Council has also said it is looking into fitting LED lights in future, suggesting the savings they offer could outweigh the cost of installing them, which Cllr Kington claimed could signal the lights coming back on all night.