As reported by Chris Druce Monday 15 August 2011 17:12 www.roadtransport.com
Motorway lighting is to be permanently switched off on sections of the M1 to reduce carbon emissions. The Highways Agency plans to switch off and remove lighting between junctions 10 (Luton) and 13 (Milton Keynes), starting 17 August and via phased removal concluding in autumn 2012. The motorway junctions themselves, approach roads and a section of the M1 on either side of junction 11 will have their lighting columns replaced and remain lit, however, the HA says 810 tonnes of carbon will be saved by the move. With lighting at the affected sections of the M1 in a poor state of repair and ongoing work to transform the stretch into a ‘managed’ part of the network featuring variable speed signs, the HA says it is confident the decision will not affect road safety or cause additional congestion. HA adds that under revised standards introduced in 2007 for lighting England’s motorways and A-roads lights if the section was being newly built today lighting would not be installed.
Derek Turner, director at the HA, says: “This is not about wishing to remove all lights from the motorway network. It’s about carefully identifying the locations where, under the revised guidelines, we would no longer install lighting. “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.” The HA already turns lighting off between midnight and 5am on sections of the M1 (junction 16), M2, M4, M5, M6 and M54 – comprising 47.4 miles.