Lights out on Burnley’s stretch of M65

A lit motorway at night (s)
A lit motorway at night (s)

MOTORWAY lighting along a stretch of the M65 in Burnley is to be switched off.

The Highways Agency has announced that lighting between Junction 7 at Clayton-le-Moors and Junction 10 in Burnley will be permanently cut off from tonight to cut carbon emissions and light pollution.

Highways bosses said the five-and-half-mile section of motorway has a good safety record and analysis shows the lights can be switched off without increasing risks to safety.

They said that under a revised standard for lighting on 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. The motorway junctions and their approaches will remain lit.

Mr Derek Turner, for the Highways Agency, said: “Since 2009 we’ve switched lighting off between midnight and 5 a.m. on 13 carefully-selected stretches of motorways and evidence indicates that switching off the lights hasn’t had an impact on safety.

“Analysis also suggests 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 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 1,000 tons. Local communities will also benefit from reduced light pollution of the night sky.”