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Lights to be removed from the M1

By: Elizabeth Smythe
12 August 2011

Money saved by switching off lights on the M1 will be used to save lives, says the Highways Agency.

Plans have been made to permanently remove lighting from a 15-mile stretch of the motorway, trl.co.uk reports, between junction 10 at Luton and junction 13 at Milton Keynes, those with over night driving work may be interested to learn.

Work will begin on removing the lamp posts next week and continue in phases over the next year, while the road is transformed into a "managed motorway." This will offer variable speed limits and allow motorists to use the hard shoulder in rush hour.

Confident that the move would not cause any safety issues, Highways Agency director, Derek Turner  told BBC News: "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."

"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."

Additionally, the Agency highlights the benefits of switching off the lights to the environment and local people.

"We anticipate achieving an annual reduction in carbon emission on this M1 stretch of about 810 tonnes," Mr Turner continued.

"Local communities will also benefit from reduced light pollution of the night sky."  

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