Motorway lights to be turned off to save money
The Highways Agency has announced it will be switching off more motorway lights.
Less than half of the 1,800 miles of motorway in England are currently lit, according to the Highways Agency.
Illuminated stretches include junctions, where lighting will not be switched off for safety reasons. However there are other parts of the network, where it is now felt, that lighting throughout the night is unnecessary.
The decision has prompted concerned reactions from the AA that are suggesting there is a greater chance of driver error with the lights being turned off.
“We think there will be a number of operational issues,” Andrew Howard, the AA’s head of road safety told The Telegraph.
“Where you can and can’t be is defined by signals and without lights there is a greater chance that people will make a mistake.”
The stretch to have its lights turned off at quiet times is the 15 mile section between junctions 10 for Luton and junction 13 for Milton Keynes. The junctions themselves, and a section either side of junction 11 for north Luton, will remain lit and will have their lights upgraded.
Derek Turner, Director for the Highways Agency, said: “Since 2009 we’ve switched lighting off between the hours of midnight and 5am on 14 carefully selected stretches of motorways and evidence so far indicates that switching off the lights hasn’t had an impact on safety. In March this year we also began permanently switching off motorway lights at three sites.”
Turner said that the money saved by turning the lights out could be used to benefit road users elsewhere, saying: “The money saved could then be used for other measures on the strategic road network where it would have a more significant safety benefit and potentially save more lives.”