Light 'switch-off' to save money

Lighting on thousands of miles of motorways, trunk roads and city streets has been turned off or dimmed at night in order to save money and cut carbon emissions, according to an investigation by the Sunday Telegraph.

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'Most accidents' on the road happen in the dark

Paul Watters, head of roads policy at the AA, has told the Sunday Telegraph that "most accidents" on the road happen in the dark.

We do know that most accidents happen in the dark. It's also comforting for people, especially if they arrive back from somewhere in the night, when they have got a late train.

There are also suggestions that it increases crime. So it may save money in terms of energy but then you have to look at the cost in terms of security, safety and accidents, it may actually be more.

'Safety concerns' over lighting switch-off

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has admitted concerns over safety following an investigation by the Sunday Telegraph which claims lighting on some motorways, trunk roads and city streets has been turned off or dimmed at night in order to save money and cut carbon emissions.

There are economic and environmental reasons why some organisations may wish to reduce the amount of lighting. However there are safety reasons why lighting needs to be available.

The presence of lighting not only reduces the risk of traffic accidents but also their severity. Surveys have show that the public are in favour of street lighting as a way of improving road safety and that, if anything, it needs to be improved in some areas.

– Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents spokesman

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Lights 'turned off or dimmed' to save money

Lighting on thousands of miles of motorways, trunk roads and city streets has been turned off or dimmed at night in order to save money and cut carbon emissions, according to an investigation by the Sunday Telegraph.

The survey found that 3,080 miles of motorways and trunk roads in England are now completely unlit, with a further 47 miles - including a busy stretch of the M1 between Luton and Milton Keynes - dark between midnight and 5am.

Lighting on motorways, trunk roads and city streets has been turned off or dimmed at night in order to save money and cut carbon emissions. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/Press Association Images

And some 98 of 134 councils questioned (73%) said that they had switched off or dimmed lights, or were planning to.

All of England's 27 county councils have turned off or dimmed street lamps in their areas, said the paper, on the day when the clocks went back, plunging the country into darkness earlier in the evenings.

The survey found that 70% of the motorway network is now unlit at night, saving the Highways Agency some £400,000 last year and reducing carbon emissions.

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