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Highways Agency Carbon Saving Scheme To Be Extended
Motorway lighting will be permanently switched off at three carefully selected sites in the North West to reduce carbon emissions and light pollution,the Highways Agency has announced.
The stretches of motorway have a good safety record and following careful assessment, analysis shows that the lights can be switched off without increasing risks to road user safety.
Under a revised standard for lighting on England's motorways and major A roads introduced in 2007, lights would not be installed at these sites if the existing lighting was due to be replaced - or if the sites were opening as new.
Lighting at the following three locations will be switched off from 29th March 2011:
• On the M58 between Skelmersdale Junction 4 to Orrell Junction 6 (approximately 3.8 miles);
• On the M65 between Dunkenhalgh Park Junction 7 to Burnley Junction 10 (approximately 5.5 miles); and
• On the M66 between Walmersley Junction 1 to Simister Roundabout Junction 4 (approximately 6.6 miles).
The motorway junctions and their approaches will remain lit.
Derek Turner, Director for the Highways Agency, said:
"Since 2009 we've switched lighting off between the hours of Midnight and 5am on 13 carefully selected stretches of motorways and evidence so far indicates that switching off the lights hasn't had an impact on safety. Analysis also suggests that driver behaviour does not appear to have been affected in terms of traffic volumes and speed.
"We are confident we can now begin to permanently switch off motorway lights at certain sites. 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 not consider installing lighting. The money saved could then be used elsewhere on the Strategic Road Network where it would have a more significant safety benefit and potentially save more lives.
"We anticipate achieving an annual reduction in carbon emissions on these three stretches of about 1000 tonnes. Local communities will also benefit from reduced light pollution of the night sky."
The Highways Agency has spoken to emergency services and other stakeholders to ensure they are aware of the switch-off.
Potential future sites for permanent switch off will continue to be assessed.
Notes to Editors
Issued by the Highways Agency National Press Office. For further information please contact Stuart Thompson on 0207 081 7443. Media enquiries out of hours should be made to the Highways Agency National Press Office (24hrs) on 0207 081 7443.
1. The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. We manage, maintain and improve England's motorways and other strategic roads on behalf of the Secretary of State.
2. Junctions which are already lit will remain lit throughout the night, even if the lights on the main carriageway are switched off. For a limited time, there will be signs at the roadside to inform drivers that they are entering a switch-off area.
3. The Highways Agency published new design and appraisal Standards for lighting on England's motorways and major A roads in August 2007. The Standard for appraisal (TA49/07) means less new and replacement lighting is justified and installed, and the lighting design standard (TD34/07) sets out specific requirements, such as requiring designs for road lighting that will not emit direct light above the horizontal.
We completely rewrote these Standards and they include changes to policy such as revising the safety benefits of road lighting based on statistical evidence. For motorway links the benefits were revised down from 30% to 10%.
The revised standards have been published and are available at: http://www.standardsforhighways.co.uk/dmrb/index.htm
4. Existing sites where lights are switched off between midnight and 5am:
Site - Length (Motorway miles) M2 J3-4 - 5.3
M4 J7-8/9 - 2.7
M4 J11-12 - 3.0
M4 J21-22 - 2.9
M5 J29-30 - 1.4
M27 J7-8 - 2.4
M6 J27-28 - 9.5
M6 J26-27 - 1.2
M5 J2-4 - 8
M1 J16 to Watford Gap Services - 6
M6 J21a - J23 - 2.5
M5 J4a - J6 - 10.0
M6 J31- J31a - 2.0
Total Length 56.9
5. Real-time traffic information for England's motorways and other strategic roads is available:
- From the web at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic or www.highways.gov.uk/mobile if using a phone or mobile device.
- By phone from the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000 at any time. (Calls to 0300 numbers will cost no more than 5p per minute from a standard BT residential landline. Call charges from other landlines and mobile networks may vary, but will be no more than a standard geographic call and will be included in all inclusive minutes and discount schemes).
- Before using any mobile, find a safe place to park. Never stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency. Make sure it's safe and legal before you call.
- From our Traffic Radio service, available on DAB digital radio and the internet at www.trafficradio.org.uk . To tune into the DAB service, simply press the "scan" button on your radio. The radio will tune into all available channels and you can select the new service by scrolling through the channels until you reach "Traffic Radio".
6. Receive our national and regional press releases by RSS and get the latest headlines straight to your desktop the moment we publish them to our website. Choose to receive a national press feed or one of our regionalised feeds - go to www.highways.gov.uk/rssnews for more information.
Issued by the Highways Agency National Press Office. For further information please contact Stuart Thompson on 02070817443. Media enquiries out of hours should be made to the Highways Agency National Press Office (24hrs) on 0207 081 7443.